I was at Candidate’s weekend (AusST) at Geelong and was amazed by a few things. First of all, the food at the Geelong Conference Centre is always a highlight and worth being amazed by. But onto more serious matters pertaining to justice, I was amazed by the amount of people who genuinely want to serve God and give over their life to him. In particular I was amazed by the amount of people who want to make this world more ‘just’ and are prepared to sacrifice a little in order to make that happen. Now some of those people will step up to the plate in the form of Officership now, and others later or not at all. But the attitude must be applauded. Why? Because at least they are brave enough to come and check out a way God might want them to serve. The problem is, I think we spend way too much time thinking and weighing up options.
Now hold that thought because I am going to come back to it.
My husband Adam is a huge Lakers fan and he was checking out prices of tickets for the NBA Finals series starting today. There is currently a bid on for a courtside seat in Los Angeles that is at $27000. That’s for one game! Now I’m sure Kobe’s sweat is sweeter than mine and the chance to be accosted by Jack Nicholson may be surreal, but $27000! That can never be justified. It made me think…who could afford that kind of extravagance? Actually, in that part of town, I’m sure there are plenty who can. It seems that extreme wealth breeds some kind of extreme stupidity and selfishness, or is it perhaps just oblivion?
Now back to the weighing up of options…
When we decide what kind of life we want to live, I find it is rarely about the sort of person we want to be or toward a difference we what to make. For the majority of us, it is largely about security, success and possibly a pathway toward wealth. What stops someone who feels called to serve God? Usually one of those three things. We want to strive to see if we can make it, and then we want to ensure that our comfortable lifestyles are maintained, and then often we fall into the trap of acquiring wealth. Our lives quickly become a combination of satisfying our own needs and wants. That is normal, of course. What is not normal is how quickly our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ move away from the will of God, to the point where it seems fine to want to spend $27000 on a night’s entertainment. That is an extreme example of course, but if we were to place our biggest needs and wants before us and assess how necessary they really were to God, then we would get the same response?
Is it necessary for you to build your career, or is it just a need of your ego? Is it necessary to acquire property and investments, or is this just a need of your security? Is it necessary to shield your child from any kind of disruption like moving house, or is this just a need of your personal values?
The point is, when we weigh up options of how to spend our life, we are often giving equal weight to things that have no business being on the same page! Weighing up career with serving God? Weighing up wealth with serving others? It makes about as much sense as a Lakers fan dishing out their life savings for a piece of 'Larry Bird' memorabilia (for those who can't catch the sarcasm or don't know the reference, Larry played for the Boston Celtics. The Lakers despise the Celtics and are playing against them in the current playoffs) In other words...ridiculous!
So I guess the application is this; our life is not supposed to be some mathematical equation where everything is measured up evenly. We are to have a bent, an inclination toward sacrifice so that justice and not equilibrium is achieved. When we make the big decisions for our life, we are not to side with sense or practicality we are to side with God’s will. And given we serve a crucified and risen Christ, I am tipping that your life, if given over to God, will likewise have some ‘ups’ and 'down’s'.
$27000 is excessive and outrageous, but a career outside of God’s will, is likely to produce much more wealth and as much waste. I have said it before, revolution involves more than campaigns and buying fair-trade and serving the poor and going on mission trips. It involves placing God’s will ahead of our own in all facets of our life, no matter the personal cost.
Till next week (sorry I missed last week)