Shifting Stuff By Pastor Joe

The fall/winter shifting of stuff has begun. To me it’s another way of saying we are trying to finish different projects within our home! I am not a big fan of temporary stuffing and storage, where we take lots of heavy boxes and shift them from one location to another. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things we need to move which are very important. It just seems as if very little of what we move is used and/or a part of everyday life. So, the process is bittersweet. Sometimes I focus on the unpleasant part of the experience, knowing there’s a large task at hand. It’s easy to forget that it also means we are making a new commitment. With the shifting of stuff comes new opportunities, new perspectives, new experiences. So, the bigger question is, how will you view the shifting of stuff? Last week I saw pictures of my children I hadn’t seen in years because I opened a box which was not labeled. We can choose how we will approach these times of change in our life. Do we see it as just another task which we have to accomplish, or is it a step toward greater eternal impact? Because how we choose to perceive moving or changing locations, changing jobs, changing ministry direction or whatever we do, will greatly affect how we daily live out our Christian faith. I must confess, in the past I have been very vocal, especially toward my wife, about moving boxes which never seem to be emptied. I need to keep the right perspective and appreciate the history of our shared experiences, while at the same time move forward with new opportunities and not be consumed by any temporal tie-downs. Yet we have to have places to hang out, we need organized access to our clothing, we need to have a place where we can gather together with our family and our church family to break bread. Our homes should be welcoming. We should want our home to be a place where we experience the presence and peace of God. How we balance the temporal stuff with the eternal will always be a big challenge, but it should be seen as part of our daily mindfulness towards walking in the Spirit. Nevertheless, I am more committed now than ever to making sure I don’t have just a bunch of stuff in boxes. Two of the scriptures, as it relates to stuff which I try to live by daily are found in James 4:13-15 and Luke 12:15. Yet at the same time, the Word tells me to leave an inheritance for my children’s children. The original Hebrew word refers to possessions, endowments and allotments. So, with the ongoing challenge of the shifting of stuff, how do we manage to stay in the right perspective? It’s not easy, but ask God to help you, or just repeat what it says in James: “if it is the Lord’s will...” When we gather as a family and as a church family, we want there to be as few distractions to our eye-gate as possible while believing our dwelling places are pleasant and bring peace to our soul. It’s important for each of us to ask the Holy Spirit to give us fresh perspective, insight and wisdom as to what we are holding onto and what we don’t need, especially those things which just consume our time, our energy and of course space.

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