I’ve read two books recently and both posed the same question.
Am I investing in things that last?
Author Francis Chan asks the reader to take a moment and shut out any thoughts having to do with temporary stresses or concerns and only focus on what is eternal.
If you try to do this I think we all find there isn’t much to think about when it comes down to it. Souls are all that matter. They are the only things moving on from here.
Yet, I found myself grocery shopping an hour after reading that passage and intent on getting finished as quickly as possible. It hit me somewhere in the milk aisle that I hadn’t given a thought in the store to “things that last,” well…there were the Twinkies I wisely passed over which might land in that category, but you know what I mean…
I glanced over at a weary mom pushing a full cart and then over at an elderly gentleman with only one item in his hands. Do they know the hope and promises of Jesus? I have this glorious knowledge that sustains me on this broken earth. I have the promise of everything made right with the ultimate reunion in heaven in the “near” future–but do they have a clue?
I’d like to say I stopped and started a conversation with these people, but I didn’t. I waver between an urgency to get the word out to people and the paralyzing fear of making someone feel awkward. Yes, I confess even though eternity for them and their loved ones is on the line I want to avoid uncomfortableness.
I’m not sure what I could have done differently for those people in this type of setting. If the Holy Spirit prompted me to approach them I hope I would’ve obeyed. I know I can pray for people already placed in their lives to speak Truth to them. But what about me? Who is already in my life needing to know about the hope I have?
Bob Goff writes in his book “Love Does,” “When love is a theory, it’s safe, it’s free of risk. But love in the brain changes nothing.”
Showing love to people involves action on my part. Praying is vital, but then I want to act when I can. If I see an opportunity to love on someone then I need to take it!
We talked in a bible class this morning how we need to show our families and the world the benefits from following Jesus…
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2
“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” James 1:25 MSG
I want my kids to obey out of love, not out of fear. I want them to see the benefits first hand in my own life.
Do I show church attendance and serving others as chores to be done? Or do they see me energized and excited from these activities? I know not every single action needing attention will be “fun,” but week in and week out I should be experiencing the joyful benefits that come from obeying God. Why would anyone be attracted to Jesus if I’m burned out and consistently negative? I do have those feelings, but I now see them as indicators rather than dictators in my life.
Over the past few years I have gained a better understanding of how God wired me to feel His benefits when I am acting within my gifts for my current season. If I feel overwhelmed then I know I am not relying on God’s direction, but I have gone off on my own again over-scheduling myself to the point of ineffectiveness.
I appreciate questions that re-center my thinking. This week I want to remember to focus on what lasts. My kids and I need to laugh, play and serve together; this is showing them what love does in this season. They need my time, presence and open conversation about what my faith means to me.
“I want to go barefoot because it’s holy ground; I want to be running because time is short and none of us has as much runway as we think we do; and I want it to be a fight because that’s where we can make a difference. That’s what love does.”–Bob Goff, “Love Does”
I am praying my eyes are opened this week for opportunities to love on and invest in people. Souls are the only things that last.
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath. Selah” Psalm 39:5