Welcome to Zeph Daily – Julia here. People who know me well may have got an inkling that I have a great love for Julie Andrews.
Not that I usually need an excuse to bring Dame Julie into conversation, but there is in fact a reason I mention it. Tomorrow, 27th May, is the anniversary of the most important day of my life: the day I met* Julie Andrews! My wonderful friend Adam alerted me that Dame Julie was doing a tour, so I managed to arrange to see her.
*from a mere 100m away
And so I thought it only right to look back on a past assembly featuring the wisdom of Dame Julie.
It all started when I met a friend at a coffee shop. It was an independent little coffee shop, and had some homemade cakes for sale. I am a big fan of cake.
Favourite cakes anyone? I think mine might be battenburg…
The cake that most caught my eye in the coffee shop was some mouth-watering homemade brownies. They were thick and chunky, but also had the look that they would melt in your mouth like you were eating an angel’s harp. My friend seemed to be thinking the same thing, as she turned to me and said, “That looks nice doesn’t it. Shall I get us some?”
I was very excited!
To my great and terrible dismay, the next words to come from my friend’s mouth were not the ones I wanted to hear.
“Could we have 2 slices of carrot and walnut cake please?” WHAT.
I was distraught. In my opinion carrot cake is the worst thing you can do to cake, and the only thing that could possibly make it worse is putting some wrinkly brown walnut on top of it.
However, it had kindly been bought for me, so I thought I’d better pretend to like it. I took a small mouthful and was surprised – it was actually pretty great! I finished it off with unexpected enjoyment. What’s more, on the way out of the coffee shop, they were now giving away free samples of the cakes – so I got to try a bit of the brownie after all. To my surprise, it was not nearly as good as the carrot and walnut cake. I was very almost converted that day.
There are many times in life where we don’t get what we want. There are many times when we find ourselves having to deal with disappointment. As painful as those times can be, that doesn’t need to be the end of the story.
A wise Julie Andrews once said, “God never closes a door without opening a window.”
When we’re in the middle of dark times, God does not leave us. He finds us a way through, when we thought there wasn’t one.
Take a moment to thank God for the times he has led you through impossible situations in the past.
Take another moment to bring to God the situations now that are not what you wanted, and ask for his help.
Something I love about the way Dame Julie puts it, is that she doesn’t say it’s another door – this time it’s climbing through the window! It makes me think of ‘bending the rules’ – or not being restricted by rigid expectations. A bit like Jesus healing people on the Sabbath day of rest; the religious leaders were aghast and shouted about rules, while Jesus understood the point. And loved people.
For me, it really reminds me of the idea that God is about grace and abundance. The idea that God so exuberantly wants the best for us, and will never give up on us, means that we don’t need to give up either.
Let’s thank God for the excessive nature of his love.
However dark our situation is, God will help us. God loves us, and finds ways for us to have joy and hope again. Think of the things that bring you happiness, and thank God for them. Here are a few examples…
Amen – Hope your day is as full of schnitzel with noodles as you could wish for!