"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Musing

Jennifer Williamson is a missionary living in France with her husband and two sons. I enjoy reading her blog about the adventures they encounter and how they are adjusting to a new culture. Today she asks the question, "Should missionaries be poor?" My immediate response is "no" and after reading her article I stand behind my answer. Missionaries are rich in the love of Jesus and have been given a gift of spreading His word.

There is an interesting section of her article that prompted me to write this morning. Jennifer provides a simple explanation about how Jesus loves us and how important "material things" should be.

“When our boys were little, and sometimes still today, when they ask, "Will you buy me this?" the answer we most frequently give is this: "God gives us enough money for ALL of the things that we need, and SOME of the things that we want. We need decide if this is really the WANT that we WANT right now. If we buy this it will mean that we can't do or buy ____________. I would prefer ______________. What do you think?" This is the most honest answer that I know how to give. Oh, and our boys know that we ALWAYS pay cash, and that large WANTS require months of saving, and therefore months of saying "no" to other wants.”

But in that exercise with my boys, I realized that I was convicted by the "We can't afford that" response for a deeper reason. You see God is my Father, and my Father can afford everything. But because He doesn't want spoiled brats for children, He is careful and wise in how bestows material blessings. Sometimes, "We can't afford it" is a cop-out answer. God NEVER gives that response when He chooses NOT to give us something. Sometimes, "No" to ourselves and to our children is the most loving and kind response; yet, if we let ourselves believe we have said, "No" because "we can't afford it" then we rob the "No" of its power.”

I just purchased a Nook recently. Using money from our budget was not an option as this wasn’t something that I “really needed.” It was an extra “thing” that I could use for reading novels and research material. So what would I give up to have this? I gave up something that I already owned. It was a trade of one “thing” for another. I did not make the purchase until I received the money for what I sold. I feel good about the process that I followed and I enjoy my new e-Reader.

I own a lot of “things.” Some are important because they are used in our everyday routines. Our home is a place to live, eat and sleep; our cars we use to get to church and work and our clothing covers and protects us from the weather. Those that I found not to be important I’ve been slowly giving away. I haven’t missed any of them which make me think that there is probably more that I can do without. I find that life becomes simpler once we open our heart to Jesus. I now take time to do the daily readings; listen and reflect on His words. My days and nights are fuller and I want to share this with family, friends and strangers.

Today we start the Season of Lent and prepare for His resurrection. Have a blessed day.   

1 comment:

  1. Flat out awesome, Paul! Sounds like God is moving in your life...really moving. (Next you will be blogging about selling your house and moving to an interdenominational community in Richmond...) :-)