Alyssa Sellers

Thanks For Being Lost

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Sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been lost.

When I started delivering mail for the USPS I spent a few weeks in a super hilly, sorta windy road, neighborhood. I was lost a lot. On the first day, in the middle of a neighborhood, around one in the afternoon, I stopped and yelled, “JESUS! I DON’T LIKE THIS!” And then, after a bit, “Help me. Please.”

I don’t like not knowing where I am. I don’t like not knowing where I’m going. I don’t like feeling like I’m not in control/charge of my life.

A couple of weeks later it was Sukkot and in this same predominately Jewish neighborhood many of the families built Sukkahs in their driveways.

I went home and pulled out my copy of Girl Meets God, the reason I know about this at all, and re-read what Lauren Winner, a woman who wrote about her journey from Judaism to Christianity, said about the holiday.

“On Sukkot, Jewish families each build a hut, a sukkah, to remind themselves of the sukkot the Jews inhabited while they camped in the desert for forty years…Today, the sukkah you would build might be an eight-foot cube, made from plywood held together with twine. You cover the roof with greenery (the covering is called schach, and it should be translucent enough to let in starlight) and invite neighborhood children to hang drawings on the walls. You eat all your meals in the sukkah, and drink all your drinks, and sometimes even sleep there. I miss Sukkot because it is while sitting in the sukkah that you learn lessons about dependence on God, that even the walls of your brick house are flimsy. The trick is to grab hold of those sukkah lessons and remember them once you’ve taken apart your shaky hut and resumed eating you meals in the spacious kitchen of your four-walled spilt-level.”

For the next week, I was constantly reminded that while the Jews wandered around mostly aimlessly, behind a CLOUD, with their life paths completely out of their control, for 40 YEARS, God provided food, water and shelter and sandals that didn’t wear out. So, I’m sure God can handle my current wanderings, both literal and metaphorical.

And I find peace in this, that is, when I remember. But that’s why God created Sukkot, so that we would remember. He knows we forget, so, in his infinite wisdom, he instituted an eight day feasting celebration with space and time to remember and then give thanks to the God who provides, both then and now.

Christians don’t typically celebrate Sukkot, most probably have never heard of it.Two of the other Feasts, Passover and Pentecost, seem to get more play, probably because of perceived closer ties to the story of Jesus. However, back in Jesus’ day, this Feast was THE BIGGEST deal. And once on the final and climatic day, Jesus made this bold proclamation, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” I think after seven days of living in booths recalling the old stories of desert life, hearing about living water would have been a PRETTY big deal.

Most days I forget that I not only have access to this fount of awesomeness but that it is in fact in me. When I remember, and ask Jesus for help or give thanks, I know I can feel a surge of life.

So, this year, I’m looking forward to Thursday’s celebration of thanks. Thanksgiving, it’s a pretty big deal.

Read more in Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16 and John 7.

2 thoughts on “Thanks For Being Lost

  1. Thank you for your beautiful writing and for your ability through your writing to challenge us to not be remiss in our Thanksgiving. God has certainly gifted you, and I thank you for using your gift.

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  2. I am so behind that I am reading this on Christmas night. but I still find it to be encouraging. after a day off craziness and changes – no kids, a recovering parent – I am reminded of God's steadfast love. thanks for the gift, Alyssa. I hope your Christmas was full and filling.

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