Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Give it Up

Recently I was given the topic of sacrifice to speak on. This was going to be the first topic in a new series called “Frontline Faith”. I did my usual routine of research and writing to make sure that the talk would be clear and to the point. The Sunday came and went like most Sundays do, but something was bothering me. It would not let me go. I mean, it disturbed me so much it made me miserable with my wife (sorry babe) and my kids. I felt like I missed IT!

Here is what chased me down: I don’t think we (Canadian Christians) really know what true biblical sacrifice means. If someone from the early church (I mean like, “book of Acts” Christian) were to walk the halls of my life and yours, they would laugh at us and tell us we have no clue what sacrifice is. I wonder if they would tell us that our faith journey is nothing like what Jesus talked about. Jesus spoke about taking up a cross – stop clinging to our lives – and he even talked about dying to self. What does that really look like? Some might say that I need to relax and stop being so hard on myself and others, but I would say, “I can’t relax… something is missing!”

When you look at the Bible, you discover that sacrifice is not an option… it’s a necessity. It’s essential for someone claiming to be a follower of Jesus. If I can live a more sacrificial life, will I open myself up to more of God? I wonder, is that what we are missing?

So let me ask you – what are you willing to sacrifice for God? No really, what is it in your (MY) nice comfortable Christian life that will give up?
- Eating out
- Starbucks (please no)
- Your third car or maybe your second
- Will you downsize the home instead of up-sizing it
- Stop shopping for clothes for a year and give more money to an organization that is battling the frontline for fair trade
- Eat rice for week as some do in other parts of our world

I am not sure what I am willing to sacrifice, but I know today I am more open to the idea than I was yesterday. How about you? Maybe if we truly lived the way that Jesus intended us to live, we would find what we are looking for. Sounds like a song if you ask me…

For now!

Romans 12:1

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lost Car

So, the other day I was sitting waiting for my wife while she was in the grocery store. I know I should have been in there with her, but hey – someone had to watch the car. As I was waiting, I noticed an elderly woman roaming around pointing keys at all the vehicles. At first I wondered, “What is she trying to do, steal a car in broad daylight?” Then I realized, she can’t find her car. My two teenage sons were sitting in the back seat and they agreed, she can’t find it. We sat for a good five minutes sort of feeling bad for her, glad that it was not us roaming around, then it hit me – I am very slow sometimes – I should help her.

“Excuse me ma’am, have you lost your car?” I was trying to be polite and nice so I would not get beat up. I can picture hidden cameras around, and me getting num-chucked by this 75-year old woman. Sure enough, she is confused and can’t find her car. I learn real fast that her husband died a few months back, and she is not even sure what she drives. “It’s white,” she tells me, and that helps a lot, since there are few white cars in the parking lot. So I ask her for her keys and I walk around pointing her keys at all the white cars. Nothing. Not one of those white cars let out a horn blast.

I felt sick for her. Someone stole her car, and her purse was still in it. We call 911 and we wait with her to make sure she is okay.

The sad thing about this for me as I reflect, is that I actually had a debate in my head if I should help or not. Do I really want to get involved in this situation? Thankfully, I felt that nudge. You might know that nudge, the one that yells in your heart, “Are you kidding?! Get off your butt and do something!” Not sure if God actually says that, but I wonder if He felt like saying it.

What I learned from this - don’t miss those moments that maybe you know you should do something. Live each day with the heart and attitude that says, “I will be part of making this world a better place”. Live willing to sacrifice time to reach out to those around you, even if you don’t know them.

Oh, by the way, she left her car at her apartment and forgot that she walked to the grocery store, purse and wallet on the front seat. I can put my head on my pillow knowing that I was part of that moment.

For now!

Hebrews 13:16