Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Island Trip Game

Years ago while Naomi was still in high school, her friend, Kelly, drove by our house with her mom while I was sitting on the front porch, my hair at its very longest. Kelly told her mom, "There's Naomi's house."

Her mom asked, "Was that Naomi on the porch?" Kelly laughed and said, "No, that was her mom."

Kelly's mom asked, "What is she, twelve?"

Heh... You'll probably be asking that same question at the end of this post.


I've been rereading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's, Gift From The Sea... It's helping me declutter this house (with less pain) in case we move this year. Or even if we don't move, still, our possessions need to be simplified. Tom's and my life, together, needs to be simplified--we know that now.

So I played a game this morning, you know, the "If You Had To Move To a Tiny Hut on a Deserted Island For The Rest of Your Life What Would You Take?" game.

In my robe I stood (with a flashlight) before each of my bookshelves and pretended I could pack just ten books from the hundreds I've collected the past 20 years. Here are those ten which I'd carry inside my suitcase to my island:

1. The Bible
2. Stand In The Wind by Jean Little
3. Practically Seventeen by Rosamond du Jardin
4. The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
5. Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
6. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
7. Mary Emma & Company by Ralph Moody
8. Cousin William by Della T. Lutes
9. Onions in the Stew by Betty MacDonald
10. Adventures in Understanding by David Grayson

If you've recovered from that odd list, I'll move on...

My hut on my island would have electricity, a tv (no cable or antenna, though) and a dvd player. (Hey, it's my game, my island. I can make up my own rules.) And since I can only take ten movies with me, here are the ten:

1. The Railway Children (Jemima Rooper)
2. His Girl Friday (Cary Grant)
3. The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (Cary Grant)
4. Disney's America's Heart & Soul
5. Rear Window (James Stewart)
6. Harvey (James Stewart)
7. The Lost Weekend (Ray Milland)
8. Suspicion (Cary Grant)
9. Father's Little Dividend (Spencer Tracy)
10. While You Were Sleeping (Sandra Bullock)

(Warning: Don't try to understand me or my choices. No one in 47 years has ever succeeded, and even I quit trying a few years ago.)

But anyway, I discovered something amazing this morning. Before playing this game, I'd believed this choosing of books and movies would be extremely difficult... that I would sweat and squirm and keep crossing titles out on my lists and penciling in others, since I'd planned to play with a seriousness of having to really live (and die) by these choices.

It wasn't hard at all.

No, not really. Because inside my heart I recalled what I'd forgotten-- that books and movies are fine in moderation, but I could let go of my large collection of both and be happy with just a few. When I was first married I had only a handful of books and I owned no movies at all.... but still (alas!) I was pretty happy.

(I highly recommend playing this game, yourself, if one of your new year resolutions is to declutter your home. It's liberating and makes the tossing less painful.)

That is, I was happy and contented on the days when I let God be God and when I kept Him first. Speaking of which, (and as the final move of this game I'm playing)... If, before leaving for this deserted island, I could leave just one more blog post, I know exactly what I'd write about:

Seek, more than anything else, to get to know God for yourself. For that is one adventure which will totally change everything. Absolutely everything, whether you're living on that deserted island or upon a mountain or in the center of town.

...or right where you are at this very moment... wherever that may be... Getting to know God changes everything.

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