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Powdered Donuts, Drugs, or Weightlifting Chalk?

Powdered Donuts, Drugs, or Weightlifting Chalk?

A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. Genesis 41:12

I daily wear scrubs to work and because I go to the gym every morning, I shower and get dressed at the gym. Almost daily, while working out, I use weightlifting chalk on my hands and while I’m handling my scrubs, I inevitably get some on them. I usually wipe it off, but sometimes I get to work with chalk still visible on my scrubs. The first time it happened, the staff wanted to know what it was. I said it was powdered sugar from donuts. They laughed because it was somewhat plausible. When I told them it was actually weightlifting chalk, they found that much more believable.

Though I’m known for liking donuts, I’m also known for trying to avoid them for my own health. At that moment, I was thankful that it was more believable that I was covered in weightlifting chalk than sugar. I’d rather be known for being healthy than for being unhealthy. Sugar isn’t the worst thing it could have been though. I can look back on a time in my life when a white powdery substance on my shirt would have raised eyebrows for a very different reason. Unfortunately, there was once a time when I was known for my drug use. Years later, people still remember my addiction, but I believe I’m now known more for my recovery than for my failures.

How do others see us? That’s the question of today’s passage. In the story, Joseph languished in prison. In the previous passage, Joseph had interpreted the dream of his fellow prisoner, the Pharaoh’s cupbearer, telling him he’d soon be released and restored to his old position. When the cupbearer was freed, Joseph implored him to mention Joseph’s plight to the Pharaoh. Happy to be out of prison, the cupbearer simply forgot about Joseph though . . . until the Pharaoh had a bad dream and wanted an explanation. Then, the cupbearer’s memory was sparked by his previous experience with Joseph. Joseph did this for me. He can do it for you.

To others, my life is the sum of my words and actions that they observe. Exactly what is it that they see? What do others think when my name is mentioned? I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what others think of me, but still, I desire that my life points others to faith and recovery. There was a time when I brought myself and my God nothing but shame. Now, in my new life, I’d like others to see that my life is pointed at God and, if they’re sick of their old life, I’d like for them to desire the same new life I’ve found. So, I’m now grateful to be known more for my faith, recovery, and weightlifting chalk than for the disaster of my addiction.

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