January 22, 2020·Tiffany Wortley
I’ve had a Disney song stuck in my head for over a week.
(Which, I guess, if I’m being honest, isn’t all that odd for me.)
Ever since reading an article about the remake of Disney’s Mulan, the movie’s epic ballad, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” has become the soundtrack of my life.
I’ll admit, it’s made seemingly mundane tasks much more dramatic. Washing dishes while singing, “We must be swift as the coursing river!” is exhilarating. But we’re going on day 11 here, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
It has, however, been joined by another song, thanks to our Pause Bible Reading Plan… the Sunday School classic, “Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man.”
It’s been a strange few days with these two songs converging, but such is my life.
I don’t know what it is about songs, but they seem to have a way of burrowing themselves into our minds and setting up camp. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed, as soon as I get to Luke, chapter 19, my mind starts tuning the instruments and, without a second thought, I find myself humming along to…
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
A wee little man was he,
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see”
Not QUITE as epic as the Mulan ballad of bravery.
However, now that I’ve sung it for the millionth time, I’m beginning to find it rather compelling…
Zacchaeus was not as “swift as a coursing river,” or as “mysterious as the dark side of the moon.” He was a wee little man. Who climbed a tree. But, could it be that this seemingly silly act was actually one of courage?
When I stop and think about this story, I realize this was a man who was DETERMINED to see Jesus. And he didn’t let anything stop him from doing so. Scripture says that Zacchaeus “sought” after Jesus (Luke 19:3). He sought after Jesus so intently that he found a way around the opposition, he ignored his own comfortability, and he set aside his own pride to do something that many would have seen as undignified.
And it’s made me ask the question… do I have the courage to do what it takes, to keep my eyes on Jesus? No matter what?
Luke 19:5 says that Jesus walked right up to Zacchaeus, called him down from the tree, invited Himself to dinner, and effectively altered the course of this man’s life.
And Zacchaeus “welcomed Him gladly” (Luke 19:6).
I want this kind of courage.
I want to be willing to do whatever it takes for my eyes to remain on my Savior.
I want to welcome His interruptions into my plans, with joy… His course changes in my life, with courage and a sense of anticipation.
I want to boldly seek after Him.
Though I know the story well, and apparently will never rid my memory of the song, the story of Zacchaeus truly struck a chord in my heart this time around. As many of you may have heard on Sunday, the Lord has recently brought a change of course to my own life. It was an interruption I didn’t see coming. And a call that was very difficult to heed.
For the past five years, I have absolutely loved being a part of this family, here at The Church On The Way. You welcomed me with open arms and gave me the greatest honor, in allowing me to minister to your children. I will never be able to fully express the joy that these years have brought me and the depth of love I have for you and your families. Thank you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving alongside you.
When the Lord began speaking to me about transitioning, I’ll admit, I found it very difficult to “welcome Him gladly.” Change is hard. And even now, as I strive to find the right words to say goodbye, I find my heart is broken.
Yet, I draw strength from the story of Zacchaeus… for when God interrupts our lives, we can trust that His plans are better than our own. His ways so much higher than ours. His love for us unending.
So, as I start down this new path, I place my eyes fully on Him, I choose courage over fear, and I lift unending prayers for you, my family…
May your eyes never falter from your Heavenly Father.
May your life with Him always be an adventure.
And may you never forget that you are a deeply loved, child of God.
I love you.
And I will see you soon.
Thanks for all the “FUN FUN FUN,”
Pastor Tiffany Sparkles