Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sitting On Josh's Bench

I stopped by Josh's grave this morning while out for my bike ride.  As you can see, his headstone is a bench.  That is so like he and Toni, always wanting to be of service.  Even in death, Josh invites us to sit a spell and rest our weary bones.  He lived an exemplary life of service.  There is no doubt he is still serving diligently on the other side of the veil.  There is much labor to be performed over there as well and I am certain that he is anxiously engaged in that service.

While I sat ruminating on that bench and watched the sun rising in the east.  I considered my place in the magnificence of creation.  All of this, earth and breath and inspiration come as liberal and beneficial gifts.  None of it belongs to me, I am just granted stewardship over some of it.  Suddenly, I realized that I've been given a great gift, that of being able to write full time.  At the same grateful moment, I realized that this gift is not a possession, but a stewardship.  I, in a remarkable way, have been given time.  Time to focus on what is most important.  Time that is not encumbered by worldly obligation or confined by worldly rules.  I'm exhilarated by this discovery.  Emancipated by it.

On the one hand I have a huge obligation of trust given to me.  I suddenly have a lot of time at my discretion  which I must not waste.  On the other, though, I am liberated by my freedom from ownership.  I don't own this Blog, God does.  I don't own my home, God does.  I don't own my future, God does.  While I am free to decide what I'll do with these gifts, I have no control over how long I'll have them, what will come of them, or how they might or might not yield further blessings.  Based upon the Parable of the Talents, I am obligated to magnify or increase my stewardship for Him, not for myself.  But, the portion the Master offers me in return is entirely at his discretion. I love this because it frees me to receive inspiration and liberates me from the worries of reward, remuneration or reciprocation.

I can do this because I trust Him.  He giveth and He taketh away, He is blessed in either case and so am I.

I don't have to think about doing what I do to draw dollars or to draw patronage.  I can just focus on doing it for Him.  Whether He meets my needs through my readers, or through advertisers, or by some other unfathomable means is entirely up to Him.  That is wonderful, because then I can focus on impressing Him with my efforts rather than impressing you, or someone else.  I believe He is the one who put me up to this.  I have yet to entirely discover why or how it pleases Him to put me to this task and perhaps I never will.  But I don't have to worry about that either

So, from here on in I'm not going to copyright anything I write here.  You are free to pass it on if it impresses you.  You are free to quote it, teach from it, share it, even publish it.  It doesn't belong to me.  I haven't earned it.  I haven't created it.  It is a gift.  One I am willing to share.  Please don't mistake my intent for altruism it is not.  To be altruistic I'd have to have something to give.  Rather, I'd call it consecration.  My willingness to share what I've been given.  A subtle but completely life changing distinction.  These things I write do not belong to me and never did.  I only hope to make use of them as The Owner intends.  I am incredibly weak and have a lot of work to do before I'll do justice to this task, but you may expect that I will earnestly be about it.

When I first began to write full time I determined that it would be a full time job and that, though I was home, I'd be unavailable for anything else from 8 to 5 every work day.  I would have to keep my nose to the grind stone if I were to support my family by this means.  My epiphany on Josh's bench this morning changed that.  Writing isn't the only task to which I've been entrusted.  The Master called me to another assignment this afternoon.  One of greater and more pressing importance.  Had my writing been about money, I'd have had a difficult time switching gears, adjusting priorities.  Money is about me.  It's about reward.  Its about feeling deserving, like I'd somehow merited more gifts because I had been given these.  It's like sitting under the Christmas tree and thinking that the mere act opening a present entitled me to another, and another...  But, today I concluded that its not about money.  Its about using God's gifts under His direction and for His purposes rather than my own.  So I gladly put down my writing instruments and exchanged them for a vacuum cleaner for the afternoon.  Would that every muscle that contracts in my body did so in the Service of He who gave that gift.  That every breath I breathe could do the same.  But I can't even succeed in attempting that distant goal without the benefit of His grace.

Did you notice the little box on Josh's bench?  It has an inscription on it, a quote from Isaiah:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.
I've been trying to do that today.  I've been trying to make that the theme and content of my life.  I have a long way to go, but at least I've started on that journey.

Thank you Josh and Toni, for a fine example of trust and for nice spot to sit and think about it.  This day you've served me well.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...