Monday, April 15, 2013

lesson from the lady on the bike


We are moving Wednesday morning (as in the day after tomorrow) and this past week has been a frantic scurry of finishing up home school cooperatives, work, and packing. Packing, packing, packing. I will admit that despite this move being an answer to prayer and something we are incredibly grateful for, I have found myself becoming a bit nostalgic as of late. I really did like this silly old house and our life on Fieldcrest Lane. Our home here sits on a picturesque plot and in the land of nostalgia I tend to forget all about the broken heat pumps, the broken water pumps, the leaky ceiling, and the thousands of dollars we have poured into this place that we did not have. I close my eyes and all I see is charm. The children swinging high on the tree swing out back, cooking hot dogs over the fire pit, picking apples from our trees. And my heart gets a tiny bit sad that we are leaving. It feels a bit unfair that we have struggled so much with our finances this year, and I am tempted to feel sorry for our family and to feel jealousy towards those who have 'more'. Just keeping it real. But God is always so good at meeting me right where I am.

Yesterday morning our family was driving to church and we passed a woman on a bike. The bike was loaded down with belongings and the woman was wearing a furry white coat, peddling hard against the wind. Boss pointed out that the woman on the bike can often be found attending our church. I nodded and agreed that I had seen her before. And I felt slightly guilty for the 'woe is me' attitude I had been sporting this past week. There we sat in our moving vehicle (one of two that we own), our children nicely dressed, just going through the motions of getting to church. No effort or energy was being exerted on our part. To the woman on the bike, those speeding past in cars must look as though they have it made. I must look as though I have it made. Because the truth is that I do. I have it made. Only I  can't see that truth when I am pouting.

And then our minister? He did it. He preached on pursuing poverty. On laying everything we have at Christ's feet to be used by him in whatever way he sees fit. On valuing people over possessions. On not letting our desire for money and things be greater than our desire to do God's will in our lives. And then our minister challenged us to open our wallets. To take out whatever change we had. To come forward and put our offering, large or small, in the plate to be given to those who enter our church building looking for a hand up. To empty ourselves before God, trusting that he will provide when we have need. .

I opened my wallet and found a dollar bill. It didn't seem like much, certainly not worth walking forward for. I almost snapped my wallet shut when I saw her. The woman in the white coat, the one we had passed on her bike on our way in. She had shown up and she was walking forward. I have no idea what she gave, but that's not the point. The point is that she gave. Someone with so few earthly possessions found the strength to empty herself before God. And she encouraged me to do the same. My dollar went in the plate.

I left church with a different attitude. This house on Fieldcrest Lane is lovely, but it is not necessary. And the money we have poured into it this past year? Not at all how we desire to be spending our funds. There are people in this world, people right here in our community who are in need. And it is not God's desire that we should be spending all of our 'spare' change on our possessions as we have done this past year. He desires us to pour out ourselves, all that we have, before him, instead of pouring out ourselves, all that we have, on a picturesque lifestyle. Needless to say, my pouting has ceased.

I do pray that our property on Fieldcrest Lane sells quickly. And once it does, I pray that our family will have the courage to do with our funds what we should have been doing all along. Giving them right back to the one who so generously gave them to us in the first place.

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