Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Of Bracelet Sales and Hard-Hitting Gospels

So friends, its been a while. I must admit I'm doing rather poorly at this "do schoolwork and have enough energy to blog" thing. So here's a post long overdue; our Hardscrabble Day Bracelet Sale!

So before I go any further,  we've passed USCIS (Immigration) a little while ago and are anxiously awaiting the aposteleed copy so we can send off or Dossier to Eastern Europe! I am eager to share what country we're going through with y'all, but until then, it's just Eastern Europe.

So back to the main story here: our little Bracelet Sale. I live in a community that I swear is one of the most high functioning ones located in Middle of Nowhere, NY. That's not literally our name, but we are literally in territory just catching up with the 21st century. Some of the seminarians I meet from the city area call my area "God's country" Because its literally that untouched. I love it that way. We still have little town celebrations that are really just a reason for the community to get fancied up and enjoy our pristine weather while little vendors around town try and make a few extra $$. Most of the time, my family doesn't do a stand or hang around too long, but we figured it was a good chance to do some fund-raising and get the word out about Reece's Rainbow. So we had some rubber bracelets made up, did up some posters to put on our table, and baked some cookies to sell on the side.

   Me, My Dad (taking the pic for me) and my little bro got there about an hour early to set up our wares. In the end unfortunatley we had to put the posters on the ground and block our little banner, but we still would've won presentation. :)

We had a LOT of bracelets to sell. Unfortunately I can't tell you we had none left over by the end of the day, but we sold a good 35 or 40% of them. The day progressed and it was beautiful. We had plenty of people ask what we were doing, some buy cookies, others bracelets, others donations. In between we had plenty of time to walk around and see what else was going on. Whiel there wasn't anything real intersting,  I did spot these...

Sorry People, but toy geek+Lord of the rings fan+ $3 apiece for rare figures is a deathly equation that only results on lightening of wallet :D.

While I didn't have 1500 bucks spare, me and a friend did have fun fake-riding a sweet custom chopper:

                     Geeky? Poor immitation of a tough Motorcycler? Nah, not at all :D

The whole day was worth it though, because I got to spend time with my family fighting for a cause we love passionately. And I got to see this little guy:

What a CUTIE! I love him so much I almost squeezed the life out of him when I saw him. To think that this was only two years ago...

Both two Years younger, me about 2 feet shorter, and he was just getting his first teeth in (and testing them on my shoulder :D )

By the end of the day, we had made about $200. While this was good, and we just dropped the whole thing into our adoption fund, I don't think we made a whole lot in profit. I was really feeling kinda bummed. We had worked hard to pull this together, and we were only getting a small amount of what we'd hoped for. It felt like we had made it through the day but only accomplished half the victory. Still, we had our adoption fund with 200 more dollars in it, so I wasn't entirely bummed.

I got an answer to something I wasn't expecting an answer for the next day in Church. I was still mulling the events of yesterday all over in my head. I tend to mull just about anything over in my head, sometimes for hours or even weeks or years on and off. The Gospel reading was one that didn't come to mind immediatley when I heard it. I've memorized what most of the stories that are in the Gospel Proclamation at Mass are throughout the year. But this one didn't immediatley come to me. It was a Parable Jesus told of a beggar named Lazarus. He had open sores all over his body. Dogs and flies would come and eat away at and lick them. And while this man suffered in pain, The man inside the house Lazarus lay outside of was rich. He partied it up, ate well, stayed healthy. And when he died, he didn't end up where he thought he would. And he saw Lazarus standing next to god in Heaven. While our Parish Priest could have taken this into a "care for the poor people around you" talk, he shined the light on a facet of the story I hadn't thought about; the man who got the short end of the stick on Earth had gotten the big prize in heaven for suffering graciously. But Father took it a step further: "So what does this show us?" He asks the crowd. "This shows that as part of being a good Christian and a good Catholic, we have to suffer."

Say WHAT now?

You've got to be kidding me, I thought. This is gonna loop around to be some wacky metaphor. But there was no denying he had meant it. This kind of confused me for a minute. Aren't the choice people the people that gets the good side? That bathes in hot tubs, gets fed shrimp and all that jazz (metaphorically speaking)?

Uh, no.    

As I thought about it more, it made sense though. For one, Scripture points it out. Two, no athlete wins the Olympics without an insane amount of physical pain and exertion. So it's really no pain, no gain then?

Well, Kinda.

It's way beyond that. It's the fact that we have to work on other things too. Not too many Wall Street brokers get rich and then convert to Christianity on the spot. This world is, as St. Paul literally put it, our race to the finish line. You can't know the true satisfaction of winning the race if you haven't trained. If I decided to go out and run a 5k today I wouldn't be ready because I hadn't trained. In the same way, the people who don't prepare for Heaven can't reach it. We have to know what it is to trust God, with our everything. so, we may not have made as much as I would've liked at the Bracelet Sale, I'll trust God knows where we'll get the money for it and that he'll provide.

I've been thinking it's about time ,To win the war that fights against all the lies invading my mind

You have brought me to my senses. Even though You built this world to shake, You still love me in a personal way, so I think it's time to leave my doubt behind

There's so much more than meets the eye or what's going on inside
I believe in something way beyond myself
Like the wind that moves the leaves
Lord You move me to my knees
Giving in something way beyond myself

Newsboys, "Way Beyond Myself"

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