The past year I have committed a lot of time and effort towards self discovery and reflection yet now I’m left with one lingering question. What now? I know that I need to trust God and release the death grip I at times place on ‘my will’ but if focusing on self improvement is the means and the end then what is the point? When or how do I stop focusing on myself so much and start loving others? What will that even look like in my life? A friend of mine said that everyone has a different gift that they can use to make a difference. I believe this is true. I think God gives us different strengths and it is our responsibility to use these to serve Him and others. I know mine; it is teaching. I love it though at times I feel it is a rather sacrificial gift to be a teacher. When I have the summer to lay out at the pool and hang out with friends though I stop looking at it that way and recognize the blessing it is. Of course it is a blessing for other reasons such as making a difference in the life of a child and all that other good stuff. But for now, for today and this week, having the freedom to lay out at the pool in the middle of the afternoon is the blessing.
I keep thinking though that it isn’t enough. I still have more to give. I can still do more. Lately I’ve noticed that I don’t think twice about throwing down a couple of hundred dollars on a new outfit, I go out to eat with friends several times a week, and don’t get me started on how much money I’ve spent this summer on drinks! Oh the precious joy of the perfect, frozen margarita on a cool patio in summer. Does life get any better? I’m definitely not saying new clothes, eating out with friends, or having a happy hour drink are bad things; I’m just wondering if I spend too much money and thoughts on myself.
I haven’t decided the answer yet. Maybe the next death grip I need to release is the one on my money though. I’ve been blessed so shouldn’t I be blessing others in return? I want to be able to have extra money if there is a friend in need. If I hear of a cause worth serving I want to be able to give without worrying how it will effect my shopping. Frankly when I find I have more money in my account than I originally thought it typically goes towards clothing. And if I feel I don’t have much money on a given month suddenly every penny goes to me because the last thing I would dare to cut off in my budget are things I desperately need. (read- desperately want) So it would seem that whether I have a little or a lot my money I typically regard it as mine. I mean isn’t it? I’m not suggesting that I sell all my possessions and live off beans and rice in order to love others with my money though I’m sure God would not oppose such a sacrificial life. I just wonder if I could be doing more.
Matthew 6: 19-21 (NIV)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”