Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adventures in Odyssey

A couple of years ago we were blessed to receive a CD of Adventures in Odyssey. We have really enjoyed listening to them with our girls. Yesterday as the girls and I headed up to my parents for a visit we listened to an episode we have listened to three times this week. Something struck me just yesterday as we listened to it. Yes, I am a little slow. Here is a summary from Focus on the Family of the episode we listened to:

The Ill-Gotten Deed

Calvin is mad at his brother, Ronny. So mad, in fact, he is searching the library at Whit's End for a book of mean tricks to play on his sibling. Calvin tells Whit that Ronny is always double-crossing him. Whit hears Calvin out, then Whit says he does have a book for Calvin after all.

The book is called The Ill-Gotten Deed, by John Avery Whittaker. It's all about two identical twin brothers named Horace and Grover who live in Virginia with their wives. Their father dies, leaving behind his land out west. But instead of dividing it up, the father's will states that the first of the brothers to reach the land gets it all! It's supposed to be a fair contest, but unfortunately Grover ends up double-crossing his brother. Grover wins the contest and cheats Horace out of the land.

Grover and his wife, Rachael, arrive first and the deed is signed over to them. But as soon as the deed is signed, they learn that the land is actually a swamp for most of the year. It's overrun by range cattle and, worst of all, surrounded by hostile Indians-who decide at that very moment to go on the warpath! Grover and Rachael fight the Indians off as best they can, but it looks hopeless. Suddenly, the Indians ride off, chased away by a huge herd of range cattle. And behind the cattle is Horace! He's saved Grover and Rachael, despite what Grover did to him.

Grover still has one more swindle up his sleeve, though. He insists that Horace take their father's land! Horace, not knowing all the land's drawbacks, agrees. He turns over his small farm in Virginia to Grover.

Calvin can't believe it until Whit reads the rest of the story to him: The swamp land turned out to be fine when a few strategic drainage ditches were dug. Horace built himself a lovely little town on the property, a town he ended up calling "Odyssey." Everything turned out all right for Horace in the end-and Calvin discovers why it's best not to overcome evil by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

At the end of the episode, Mr. Whittaker is talking to Calvin and he explains that Horace didn't believe that he should judge anybody--that was God's job. Mr. Whittaker went on to tell Calvin that Horace wasn't harboring bad feelings toward his brother, just thankfulness for what God had done in his own life.

Many times I am blinded by my hurt and anger because I have put my eyes on those things that hurt me and not on what God has done for me. It is actually my pride, saying I didn't deserve it.
I somehow feel if I carry around the pain, I am justified. If I was honest, I would say that I lose too much sleep (that is when I keep going over and over things that are bugging me) dwelling on past hurts. But yesterday I was reminded by a fictional character that I need to let God take care of it. I also need to thank God that I don't get what I truly deserve, which is eternity in hell.

I need to focus on God and His continual grace in my life.

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