Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Trial of TOO MUCH

I’m sitting quietly in a nicely furnished room at the Teen Challenge of the Midlands in Colfax, Iowa. No, I’m not in the program, but had I access to it 27 years ago it would have been a powerful life changing experience.

The reason I’m here is because while being bi-vocational has its benefits, sabbatical time is not one of them. Meaning, one must separate ones self in a quiet time of fasting and prayer to adequately here from God on matters of life and faith. And busy daily life just makes it tough to garner those hours with God.

So, I’ve taken a short break away from the activities and responsibilities of my daily life. My goal is two fold: 1) to get some much needed rest and concentration on the things of God and my life; and 2) to sharpen my vision for the coming days by much prayer, fasting, reading and most of all isolation from way TOO MUCH stuff.

That’s right TOO MUCH stuff.

Now don’t get me wrong (as if that ever happens); I like the stuff that makes up life. I like my jobs, my wife, my kids, my dog, my money, my church, my food, my entertainment, my friends, my dirt bike, my home, my study, my books, my tools, my own bed, my refrigerator, my toaster, my coffee maker, my microwave, my television, ummm… did I say my stove, my snacks, my wife’s great cooking, ummm… the list is seeming to reveal the fact that I’m presently fasting, so forgive my list… but have I missed anything?

Because we have so much of everything, we are thrust into the TRIAL OF TOO MUCH (Revelation 3:17). That’s right, having access to so many amenities and comforts in life, at such high levels of excess puts each of us smack dab in the middle of a balancing act between idolatry and loyalty to God. I say that because even the most honest and loyal believers are torn between the things of this world that hold little to no immoral affect upon us, but often tend to steal our time and focus. They dull our ability to sense or feel or even commune with the Living God on a level known only to a few.

And why is that level so little known; because we have so much stuff in our lives. When I say stuff I mean material possessions and provisions as well as obligations and responsibilities. Please understand that I’m not suggesting that we all bail out on modern American life, but I am suggesting that we take time to understand the blessings and the curses associated with having TOO MUCH STUFF.

Too much stuff tends to keep us from each other and God. Too much stuff spreads our life resources way too thin. Too much stuff often requires way too much time. And too much stuff can make us fat and lazy (not just physically).

Now granted, some folks are masters of the 168 hours God gives each of us per week, but my bet is this; the person who believes they’ve mastered the week God’s given them, just might have ignored or omitted something that is more valuable than STUFF. Maybe quality and quantity TIME alone with God?

Take the poll I will post to the right of this blog. Be honest and answer the questions accurately. My guess is that most of us could use a little more quiet time with God, but TOO MUCH STUFF sucks our time, money and energy right out of the lives God has given us.

I guess it’s all about balance, but I still think we have TOO MUCH STUFF. All of which tends to place an inordinate TRIAL on the souls of those already tested and tried by the invisible (Ephesians 6:12), let alone the visible.

On that note I will stop. At the moment I have less STUFF surrounding me and calling me, so I will relish in the restoration and relationship I will receive.

Good night and good stuff.

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