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alive…only not

On Sunday, Jeff threw out a challenge to us. He said this:

Wouldn’t it be great if the church (and by that I mean Christ followers) was recession proof? What a powerful witness we could be in this time if we were not in the same boat as everyone else. The kingdom economy, when it is lived out, is recession proof. It is not market driven. When we live below our means, when we don’t buy things that we don’t need with money that we don’t have to impress people we don’t like, it doesn’t matter what the credit market does. When we buy houses and cars and clothes and food and cable tv and cell phones and whatever else based on NEED  rather than on want, we have margin. And when we have margin, we also are able to help and respond to others when they don’t.

I love this. I’m inspired by it, and maybe that’s what I so long for when I say I want to GO. Maybe it’s just I need fresh eyes right now. I realize the benefits of keeping a home and having a good job and raising a family and being planted somewhere. I’m excited for those things that are happening now and WILL happen. But I also know my perspective needs a good revamping. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if I didn’t worry about work after hours? If I didn’t stress about when our debt would be paid off? Or even better…if so many of us shared resources and helped each other out, that we all didn’t have to work so much?

The sermon came out of a series on Revelation, and Jeff built on this verse:

…You have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!… Rev. 3:1-2

I like this because we hide behind lots of things to make us think we are alive…our jobs, our acts of service, going to church, etc. (Ok, I’ll stop accusing…I myself hide behind those things). But really, we are not self-sufficient. I am not self-sufficient.  That’s a blow to my pride for sure. No matter how straight ‘my ducks in a row’ are, if I am not seeking and leaning on Jesus, I will miss the mark. And the mark is not a standard to be reached, but a place of peace and joy in which to dwell. A place of rich learning and growing and experiencing real life.

And God is not a boring God. We are not giving up anything we can’t find even more of on the other side. God INVENTED the concept of friends and parties and relationships and marriage and sex and laughter and singing and jokes and barbeques and games! So stop looking at what you are missing and see what you are gaining (I have to tell myself this too)…

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.
– Barbara Kingsolver

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