Wednesday, February 6

Restless holes

I've been thinking a lot lately about contentment, busy-ness, and restlessness in relation to peace, quiet, and what God wants from me/ us. (As humans, as Christians, and as a married couple.) part of this stems from the "financial descision" I was asking for prayer for a little while back, and some of it stems from around Christmas time, and some of it stems from my interaction with people my own age here in Houston.

Around Christmas time I am always faced with the question from people of "what do you want?" Along with that question comes my side of it, asking what should we give? The first question raises a "need" to come up with a list of things I probably don't need. Having moved as often as we have Lisa and I have become acutely aware of "stuff". You can't take it with you, but you sure will be hauling it around the globe with you until your time here is over. Christmas is a time we should be thinking about the gift of the saviour and what that means to us... Essentially loving everyone in a way that surprises even our enemies. Not compiling lists of stuff we want, that might not make it beyond the spring. I am in no way saying I am not guilty of this. Every year I make a list and ask for things I don't need.

This year before some of the Christmas noise started the idea of contentment latched onto my mind and had me asking questions like, where is the line between being content and being lazy? For example: I am content with the urban jungle growing in my backward it is as God made it vs spending hours to make the backyard a pinacle of Western/ English gardening that wins awards.

Or maybe closer to "home": Do I stay where I currently live, continue to rent and pay someone huge amounts of money we'll never see back again or do we buy something that we can maybe get some cash out of when we're done with it? Or perhaps, our car is loosing value quickly, do we get rid of it while it still has a reasonable amount of money left in it or do we keep a hold of it until it breathes it's last shuttering breath in 15 to 30 years? Do I sell that "old" phone I have and get a new one or do I wait until the company who made it goes under and people ask me if I work for a museum because I am carrying such an old thing around?

I am sure you can think of many more examples... And frankly I don't have any answers. Ultimately in all of this I think God is telling me to use the money He has given us wisely, and to keep an open hand. Ready to give up, give away, and use for His goodness and grace. If Jesus wants us to Love others, then what does either buying something new or holding onto something for a long time help in what God wants from us, which is to love our neighbor as ourself.

I don't know what that looks like for you... Sometimes (most of the time?) I come up short with what that means for ME. I do know that sometimes I want to change something because I am bored or restless or yearning for a change in another part of my life that this thing has nothing to do with the thing in question. I bring this up becuase I also wonder how much of this restlessness to change something, researching, spending time purchasing, and configuring, setting up, repairing, painting, moving, gardening, isn't a ploy by the enemy to make us spend less time with God. Sure we might be doing some of these things for Him. (Whatever the justification for the "thing") But if we are to love God, get to know Him and Love Him more, and then Love others in the same way that God loves them, then how is this busy-ness and restlessness fulfill that?

In a lot of ways contentment is more expensive than buying something new. Why? Because it requires you to deny some part of yourself, and maybe even the sacrafice of the thing or of your time to get to know God and People better, instead of spending time engrossed in the new item.

Thank you all for reading and your continued support. We continue to live, and serve, by the grace and mercy of our Lord.

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