Life, Pt. 1

So, here I am on a Sunday morning, finally off from ministry this morning. I have been going full speed ahead for about a month, or maybe a month and a half. It’s so good to be off. I love my church family so much and I usually don’t mind helping out where I can (I rarely am at the head of any ministry, I lead worship once every two months or so) but this past month has been full of financial, relationship, and physical stress, and it’s great to have a day to relax and hopefully renew, at least a little.

I have been thinking about stuff this week, my brain likes to run at about 110 MPH (don’t ask why 110, just the first number that came to mind) when I am working and doing stuff that doesn’t involve a lot of concious thinking, like mowing. This week I have been thinking about my spiritual family. I don’t mean to sound like I am knocking my actual family, but I have found that I have a lot more in common with my family in Christ. Somehow the atmosphere is a lot more comfortable, and there’s something else I have noticed. In God’s family, love is a choice, and if you ask me, love that is chosen is so much sweeter than love that is kind of forced on you. Siblings and family members by blood are expected to love each other, but when you have even one person who chooses to love you, it’s breathtaking when you think about it. Now here’s my thing that I need to work on. I need to work on including ‘ordinary’ people. Because when I think about it, the people I love most in life have some sort of talent. Lots of them can sing really well. Maybe they can speak (preach) well. Play an instrument. Something like that. It makes me wonder when the last time I loved someone for who they were was. And maybe I’m not doing so bad, maybe it’s true that I do love those people, and I also love that they have those talents. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Anyway, that leads me to my next train of thought.

I think that we are usually doing better than we allow ourselves to think. Saying that about talented people made me think about that. Isn’t it funny how we will make some sort of connection and worst-case-scenario it? Like this:

–What if the girl I thought was gorgeous and talented lost all of their hair and messed up their vocal chords, would I still love them?

That’s weird. Because sometimes I think we think that God will do that just to teach us a lesson. But how crazy is that? Why would God take talent from someone else just to teach us a lesson? Why would God take a talent from someone who could use it for His glory in the first place? What if talents are part of who people are? I don’t mean that people should be defined by their talents, but why couldn’t that be icing on the cake?
That leads me to yet my next thought. This is all speculation and thinking, I am not seeking to speak the absolute truth about this kind of thing, but I wonder.

Prosperity. It’s one of those words that a lot of people love or hate. They think it’s great or they think it’s a curse. I am somewhere in between. I am all about having an enjoyable life. I am all about being able to hang out with friends and go see movies, or go to lunch on Sundays after church. I am all about nice clothes. (when I say all about, I mean I don’t see anything wrong with it.) Heck, I’m even okay with having a nice tv and movies and stuff. And I think that’s another thing we do, is we tell ourselves we have it too good or something. We wonder what we would do if God called us on a mission trip to Africa and we had to leave all of our nice stuff behind. My thought: deal with it.

Now. There is one thing I want to point out. I think we should be fiscally responsible to the Lord. I don’t think we should spend every last penny on ourselves. I think tithing and donating to other ministry causes when God calls us to is great. I think buying stuff (like dinner or a movie) for someone else maybe in a discipleship capacity is great, and I encourage it. I try not to spend all of my money on myself, or if I do, that it somehow benefits someone else, like buy a pizza to share. Does that make sense?

But that’s not to say that I think we should rob ourselves altogether of nice things. I think the problem is when we get attached. When we live every second with the 52″ HD, 3D, LCD, ABC 123 TV on, when we live with our nose stuck to our smartphone, those kinds of things MIGHT be indicators of problems. But again, I know plenty of people in ministry who have smartphones. I have a gorgeous TV myself. I think attachment is an issue of the heart, and I don’t think that you can always assess correctly when you just look on the outside. Anyway, I’m not sure where I was going with that.

All I want to say to end this is that maybe we’re not doing as bad as we thought. God looks at the heart. I know of people who serve their guts out in the wrong heart and people who don’t serve and have a good heart. I think that what we REALLY need to do is ask the Lord what He sees, what He wants to change, and how He wants to change us.