Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pluses and Minuses



"Wow, it really adds up doesn't it?"

~ $85.00 at Target
~ $25.00 at BevMo!
~ $21.00 at Denny's
~ $93.00 at IKEA
~ $3.50 at Starbuck's

Why, yes...yes it does add up. 

Today at lunch, my mother-in-law thanked me for paying for lunch. I laughed and said, "Just pray we get jobs, before our money runs out...". It was a joke, but it's a true request nonetheless, and one I extend to you. We're not in trouble yet...but we will be in a couple of months, if we haven't found jobs. Thankfully, we have a place to stay. My in-laws have been so gracious in letting us move into one of their extra rooms. However, this is not an arrangement that any of us wants to be permanent. We all love each other...but like most families, we probably love each other a little more, when we're not all living in the same house. 

As he was driving us to the airport, a dear friend of mine confessed that he and his wife were most worried for us in regard to spending and material possessions. They know us so well. They know our love of nice stuff, our tendency to nest and of our old struggles with consumeristic materialism...

I made a sort of a commitment, before leaving Korea, that I wouldn't buy any new clothes until I'd lost about 25 lbs. After all, I have plenty of clothes...I don't need any more. So, how's that commitment going? Well, the snuggly new Old Navy sweater that kept me warm a couple of nights ago says it's going just fine. Oh...and the new flannel I bought from Targ├ęt tonight agrees. 

"Therefore I tell you", Jesus said, "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

"Who of you, by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith? So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
(Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)

I've said this before, but when Jesus says "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" he is essentially saying, You take care of my business, and I'll take care of yours. And did you notice that little phrase "as well"? Jesus says that in addition to the kingdom, and righteousness, which you will be given, for if you seek, you shall find, but you'll also be given those things you need for daily life. 

C.S. Lewis said it this way, "Aim at Heaven, and you will get earth 'thrown in'; aim at earth and you will get neither."

So, perhaps what I need, and what you need tonight, is to worry less about food, money, possessions, drank, cars and clothes, rash vows and broken commitments, and to focus more on Jesus, on his saving grace, his forgiveness, pursuing his kingdom and his righteousness, remembering that he is faithful and will provide as we have need...perhaps not in advance, allowing us to store up in barns and save up for lean months, but as we have need. Today. Tomorrow. One faithful moment at a time. 

Oh...and you should pray that I find a job. 


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