"As is"
(©2006 - By Bob Perks)

4-5-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #385

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

Story of the Week
"As is"
(©2006 - By Bob Perks)
"That's got to be the worst advertising I have ever seen!"  I said.
"What advertising?" he asked.
I pointed to the pin he was wearing on his jacket.
"As is!" I said.
He appeared to be embarrassed.  His face turned a bright red and he couldn't look me in the eye.
"Oh, that thing," he said as he fumbled to remove it.
"Don't take it off, I was really joking," I said as I grasped his hand.  "Leave it there."
"I feel foolish," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"I had that made for me.  I wear it when...." he began to stumble over his words.
"When I go out."
"When you go out where?"
"Out dancing...at the club and places," he said.
I waited for more.  There wasn't any.
"That's it?  What's it mean?" I asked him.
"Oh,  I want to meet a lady.  A companion, friend...you know."
"So the pin means..."
"What you see is what you get!" he replied loudly.  Then he smiled.
"Oh, like a used car..."As is?" I said.
He started laughing.  "I know it's silly, but I'm too old to be trying to impress someone.  They're all looking for "razzle-dazzle." 
"You have razzle-dazzle!" I assured him.
Through his now increased laughter he said, "I have a little bit of "razzle" but I think I lost my "Dazzle."
We both sat there laughing.  "I can relate to that!" I said.
"Really, "As is" isn't a bad deal.  I think it's a brilliant way to start a conversation with a stranger," I said.
"Well, I have met a few ladies because of it," he said.
"Nothing became of it?  I mean, you didn't meet the special love of your life?" I asked.
"No.  Most of them came "As is," too.  But they needed a lot of work," he said. 
"You're not buying a car there.  I think we are all "As is."  There's a lot of mileage, a lot of issues, you know...the stuff of life," I said.
It got me thinking about things.  I can picture those words on a sale agreement for used equipment or as a description in a want add for something being sold.
Usually when you see them, you hesitate, simply because it suggests there may be something wrong with it.  Enough wrong that the seller didn't want to fuss with it. 
They didn't want to invest anything more in it so you have to take it as it is.
The price is lowered, the expectations limited and you just hope someone will take it because you don't want to keep it any more.
I sat quietly thinking about it.
Who would want something or someone marked "As is?"
The one with vision.  The one who sees hope and potential.  The one who looks at sand and still sees a place to grow.  The one who sees withered and lifeless and takes time to prune away the dead parts and nurture the life back into it.  The one who reaches for the rose knowing there may be thorns, but willing to take a chance because they value the beauty in it. The one who lights the smallest candle in the darkest room while others sit in fear of the unknown.
God, take me "As is" and help me to see again.  Cut away the lifeless, wasted parts of my life and nurture it until it bears fruit worthy of You.  Help me to see the beauty within my life.  It has been buried for so long in the thorns of negativity.  Teach me to be the light for those who hide in darkness.
God, I am "as is," and pray that through you, I will become "As you want me to be."   

Pastor's Quote of the Week
Then Jesus stood up again and continued teaching his apostles: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. I am the vine, and you are the branches. And the Father requires of me only that you shall bear much fruit. The vine is pruned only to increase the fruitfulness of its branches. Every branch coming out of me which bears no fruit, the Father will take away. Every branch which bears fruit, the Father will cleanse that it may bear more fruit.

(From: The Urantia Book – Paper-180 Section-2 )

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Teach me to be, “As You want me to be.”

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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