Sometimes I look around me and I see only what is missing. I see what we do not have, what we cannot afford, I ache for who I miss. I spend so much time wondering what life would be like "if only" that I miss life itself. I ask God to answer, to audibly tell me what His plan is. What would He would have us do with our children, our money, our testimonies and are we even coming close to it? I sit and sigh knowing that the answer is no. Do I think we are reaching for obedience? Sure I do. Are we trying to follow Him? Absolutely. But often we are so overwhelmed by our earthly desires that we lose sight of Him and in that we lose sight of everything.
I look around this town that we live in filled with money and big homes. I search for people to share life with whose treasures are in heaven rather than on earth and more often than not I come up empty handed. I wonder what is is like to talk to someone whose whole heart belongs to the Lord. I long to share conversation with someone who worries not about money, or health, or career, or status but only about furthering the Kingdom of God.
I look around this little house that we rent complaining and sitting on the world's most uncomfortable couch and truthfully I know that we need no more than this and could survive on so much less with God on our side. So why am I complaining? I am selfish. Period. I envision our lives in a modest home with only as much as we need filled with the Holy Spirit and this sounds so perfect! It makes me laugh. That is exactly what we have!! A modest home with more than we need if I am being perfectly honest. So what is my problem? What is missing? The Holy Spirit and my focus on Him. Well not missing, maybe hanging out on the peripheral is a better way to say it. I am the reason I am not content. My lack of obedience and my laziness in seeking the Lord everyday with all I have. These are the reasons I feel empty on the days that everyone else's lives seem more glamorous than mine.
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34-38).
What will my profit be if I gain the "whole world" yet lose my soul? If we are successful, if the practice booms and we pay off all of our debt, if we buy a big house, if we surpass the Jones's, if our girls go to private school and I finally own a shirt that costs more than $7.50, if we have car that is less than 6 years old and a home big enough for the entire family to come to Thanksgiving, if one day we are successful by earthly standards will I then be content? Will that make it all okay? Will my heart be full and my loss be less? If I spend my life to gain the world and in the midst of it I lose my soul what have I have gained really? It is hard to say since at this point in our lives we live like we are 25 rather than 36. Honestly, I do not know how I will feel if we ever have more "stuff" than I ever imagined and I am not sure if I want too. I believe that in this world filled with sin we are programed to never have enough, to never be content. I think that once we get to a certain status, to a place where we don't "need" it is easier for us to forget all that we need. God.
It is for this reason that I pray today and tomorrow for God to remind me and to humble me. I plead with Him to strip away all that I have so that I see only Him. I pray that tomorrow and the days after I will wake up reminded to "seek the LORD my God, knowing that I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul." Deuteronomy 4:29. Because I know that there will be a day "when the burdens of this place are no more, and we'll see Jesus face to face". And it is on that day that I want him to look at me and say, "well done my good and faithful servant". Matthew 25:21
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The older we got the more I realized that Uncle G was one of a kind in our family. While the rest of the men were playing basketball or cards, he was grilling the meat or slicing the turkey. There he would be in the kitchen, apron on, hands all a mess, passing out bites of yumminess and working his tail off to provide the rest of us one of the best meals of the year. I remember how curious I was about him. He was so different from the rest of the Slocum men, why did Aunt Pat go for this big, furry, fishin man that loved to eat good food more than anyone I have ever met??
When I was in college I needed somewhere to live. Pat and G lived close to the school and with open arms welcomed me into their home with their two teenagers. They took their office and turned it into a room for me and I lived their for quite a while. It was then I realized why Aunt Pat married G. The man did everything! He cooked, he cleaned, he could buy clothes for anyone in the house including his teenage daughter and I never once heard him raise his voice in anger. He was unlike any man I had ever been around and I remember thinking, "I want to marry a man like this!" That year of my life Pat and G become my second set of parents and Zack and Court became my little brother and sister. They were my family, and I enjoyed all of them all of the time. I would come home from school and it would be just G and I. He would tell me a story about a fishin trip, every detail about the food he cooked or ate, or both. He would stand in that kitchen with a chicken breast and an onion chatting away while making it into the best thing I had eaten all week.
Later in my life I moved back into Pat and G's. I needed somewhere to go and once again they opened their home. It was a hard time in my life and they knew it. They didn't ask many questions. They just let me be there safe, warm and as always fed. Just like parents do for you when life is hard. They loved me and I loved them and was blessed to have them both.