Daily Connector | Ready for Shinola | Brent Miller

A mentor once told me, “Brent, when you decide to change yourself for the better and really bear down, the universe will test you. When you decide to take control, the universe is going to give you all sorts of…*STUFF*… before it gives you any shinola.”

When I started writing these Daily Connectors, my purpose was twofold:
1. To encourage the reader to take inventory of their blessings.
2. I realized that I myself, could be the beneficiary of a reminder-and a refresher of how-to look upon all that God has made and realize its goodness.

In my first connector (Monday, 11/2), I talked about changing the narrative of 2020 by counting all of the positives that have happened this year. On Thursday, 11/5, I got a call from my sister that my dad was in an ambulance being taken to Joel Pomerene Memorial Hospital in Millersburg, OH. (“STUFF” #1). ***He is OK. He MAY have had a very minor stroke. He is resting at home and there is much investigation into what caused his issue.

In the Daily Connector on 11/9 – my lovely wife’s birthday – I talked about knowing how to react to challenges by invoking core values rather than reacting emotionally. The next evening as we cooked hot dogs over the fire, Megan talked about feeling completely exhausted and somewhat fevered. (“STUFF” #2)

For the 11/16 edition of the Connector I had turned in a piece equating the usefulness of our guiding principles to that of Black Sheep. Coincidentally, I thought Carolyn May’s sermon the Sunday prior set a tone for the beauty of “Endarkenment” that played well with the unusual positivity equated with the blackness of sheep’s wool. Then we got the positive COVID test for Megan (More “STUFF”).

All this is to say that I am ready for the shinola. The “STUFF” has gotten deeper and deeper and I am being challenged. It’s OK though. I have faith in me. I have faith in God. I have faith that the Kin-dom is playing the long game and is ultimately on our side. I have faith that – in the words of Richard Rohr’s meditation today – “The Kingdom of Heaven is really a metaphor for a state of consciousness; it is not a place you go to, but a place you come from.” When there is more STUFF than shinola, it is well to remember whence we came.