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The Gathering
Krissy, 18

Have you ever gone to a potluck, a social gathering, like by a church group or maybe a family reunion? You were told something like, "You bring what you want to eat and we'll furnish the tea."

You get ready to pack your lunch, but all you could find was one dried up piece of bologna and just enough mustard in the jar so that you got it all over your knuckles when you tried to get it out . . . and just two stale pieces of bread. Soooooooo, you made a bologna sandwich and wrapped it in a brown bag and went to the picnic.

When it came time to eat, you sat at the end of the table and spread out your sandwich. But the folks right next to you - the lady was a good cook and had worked all day - had fried chicken and baked beans and potato salad and home made rolls and sliced tomatoes and pickles and olives and celery, and, to top it off, two great big homemade chocolate pies. They spread it all out beside you and there you were . . . with your bologna sandwich.

But they smiled warmly and said to you "Why don't we put it all together?" You may have stammered a bit, embarrassed, and made excuses, but they wouldn't take no for an answer. "Aww come on, there's plenty of chicken, plenty of pie, plenty of everything. And we just love bologna sandwiches. Let's just put it all together." So you did . . . and there you sat, eating like a king, when you came like a pauper.

So I'm thinking . . . thinking of me sharing in the very being of God. When I think of how little I bring and how much He brings and that He invites me to share. . . I know I should be shouting to the housetops, but I'm so filled with awe and wonder that I can hardly be heard. I know I don't have enough love. . . or faith . . . or grace. . . or mercy. . . or wisdom. But He has. He has ALL those things in abundance, and He says, "Let's just put it all together. Everything that I possess is available to you, and everything that I am and can be to a person I will be to you."

And when I think about it like that, it really amuses me - to see somebody running around through life, hanging on to their dumb bag, with their stale bologna sandwich saying, "Well, God's not gonna get my sandwich! No sirree, not mine!" Did you ever see anybody like that - just so needy? Just about half starved to death, hanging on for dear life to their bologna sandwich?

You see, it's not that He needs your bologna sandwich. Fact is, you need His everything.