An extra day!

I’ve done a lot in the last week.  I’ve read.  I’ve worked.  I’ve played.  I’ve slept {not enough}.  I have been busy and could really use a day to relax, unwind and recover.  Sadly it’s not to be.  For some reason the world hasn’t recognized this 29th day in February as a bonus day.  They still expect me to participate in the regular business of things.

After working on ‘regular business’ this week I find myself slightly crazed.  I needed a break so here I am.  As I deliberate on the next book to pick up in my Lent project, I thought I’d write down a few thoughts that I’ve been mulling over regarding the first few things I’ve read.

Here we go: 

C.S. Lewis says “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”  How many of us work to keep our daily lives comfortable and forget the bigger picture?  Jesus was always reminding us of the bigger picture.

Francis Chan reminded me of the bigger picture this week as well.  When he was the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in California they gave away 55% of their budget to the community.  He said it was because Jesus says in Matthew 22 –“…’Love others as well as you love yourself.'”.  They believe they should spend as much on others as they do on themselves.  It is phenomenal.  I wonder what would happen in a Presbyterian Congregation if this was proposed?  We’ve got a tendency to hoard our resources for a rainy day.  We’re always afraid we won’t have enough.  When will we start to trust in God?

Speaking of saving for a rainy day the book of Malachi is a fascinating read.  God wants the doors of the temple shut on the priests who are worshipping incorrectly and bringing him the things they don’t want as a sacrifice.   The priests are hoarding their resources, keeping them for themselves.  In verse 10 God asks the people to test him.  He says “Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”.  What if we really believed that God would provide if we gave our best away?  What would happen if we shared our resources the way we are called to?  Do we really believed that we were called to do ministry in the world and not just maintain buildings?

To sum up my ramblings:

C.S. Lewis tells us to aim at heaven.  To strive for something we believe unattainable or impossible.  Something we require God’s help to get.

Francis Chan reminds us that it is possible and such a blessing to give, for when you give you invite God in and must be fully dependent on his grace and movement among you to survive.

The prophet Malachi reminds us that no one is immune from incorrect worship.  The priests had tried to deceive God and had lost faith in him.  Such an important reminder at a time when it feels like we’ve all lost our way.  Trust in God is the only thing that will sustain us.  We must be willing to let go of what we perceive to be our needs and instead look at the needs of those around us.  God always provides.  We’ve got to stop looking out for ourselves and start looking out for others.

This project has been crazy so far.  I’m only two books and a book from the Old Testament into it and already I’m starting to think that a home church/rental facility is not a bad idea.  No overhead and all the money except for bare expenses can go into the community.  This is why I avoid exercises like this!   People are going to think I’m crazy…

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One response to “An extra day!

  1. I love that C S Lewis quote. The easily seen small things vs unseen big things is one of the biggest tensions we live in as Christians. Thanks for the helpful reminder to let God sustain us and stop “holding on.” So many churches & people think the opposite these days…I wonder if we are letting worldly ways affect us too much?

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