Thursday, December 10, 2009

Intentional Intentions

I've been intending to write this post since the weekend after Thanksgiving. That's at least how long I've been thinking about it. (I'm still trying to find my rhythm again, but working on it).

I intend to do a lot of things that I never get around to doing.

And you know what they say... the road to you-know-where is paved with lots of good intentions.

Then there are things that I do that have nothing to do with original intentions.

Like this, for example.
This is one of my precious Fiesta tumblers. The intention of its creation was to hold a fruity, breakfast beverage. I put pens and pencils in it.

There are other pieces in my Fiesta collection that also don't get used for the purpose they were intended. Like my pitchers. I couldn't find any pictures of my own pitchers (OK, I didn't really look very hard), but a quick Google image search tells me there are others who also misuse their pitchers.
Fiesta pitchers make very lovely vases. I think I've used my Fiesta pitchers as vases more often than I've used them for liquids. The only thing I really ever use a pitcher for is iced tea, and if you're going to make tea you need to make at least a gallon and Fiesta pitchers are just too small for that. So, in my house they hold flowers.

I looked around my computer desk and found a couple of other unintended things.

I've already admitted that I have a issue with pens (you can read about it here). That's another story. Today it's about the cups. And the pitchers. And all the other things not serving their original purpose because I've filled them up with something else. I fill them up and call it creativity and resourcefulness.

Like I said, I've been thinking about these intentions since the weekend after Thanksgiving. That's when we decorated our church sanctuary for Christmas. The people in charge of decorating the sanctuary for Christmas really take it seriously and it always turns out lovely.

The building structure is very traditional Baptist architecture built in the middle of the historical district of an Old South rural town. That's a blessing and a curse. It's a rectangular sanctuary with tall ceilings and large stained glass windows. There are wooden pews with dark red velvety cushions. The pews are in three sections with the center section being the widest. No center aisle. Up front on the altar/stage/I-never-know-what-to-call it section there is white, heavy, wooden pulpit furniture. There's a huge proscenium arch, behind which is a cove that houses a cranky, old pipe organ and some more wooden pews for the choir. Behind the choir pews and elevated above everything else is another recess - -the baptistry (spellcheck wants to make that baptistery, but that just doesn't look right to me).

The baptistry has tall, white, wooden doors. I'm not sure why. To keep people out? To keep people in? Well, back to that in a minute...

Here's a visual peak just to get some perspective. That's Rhonda back there standing behind the tree (and she's not a short person), just so you can see how large that evergreen is.

Now. Here's where the pens in the cups and tumblers come in. And the creativity and resourcefulness. I present to you, The Baptistry.

We close those doors, hang a 10 lb. wreath on them, cover the ledge with red, satiny cloth and holiday poinsettias. It's beautiful. And well done. That's the real thing too, no tacky plastic here. It's creative. And resourceful.

And not at all what it was intended for.

That's the part that makes my heart hurt.

We truly have paved the road to hell and shut the door to heaven with our good intentions and filled it up with our own creative and resourceful purposes. Those doors should be open. It should be filled with water. The water should be warm from the frequent use and cloudy from all the sins that have been washed away.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10).

That is Christmas.

But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:19-20

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