I have been reading a book called Hope Lives and it is a devotional type of book that goes into the issue of poverty and God’s views on it, the causes, the possible solutions and how we as Americans choose to or not to partake in it. It is not by any means an all-inclusive book, but I am enjoying it because it goes into different stories of individuals whose lives have been impacted by one person.
One of the main things I am personally learning about is that God does not care as much about our circumstances and symptoms as much as He cares about our person. It can be a stumbling block to be too rich or too poor. That isn’t the concern as much as how do we relate to each other within those outside forces. When I really think about it, that is one of my favorite things about the ministry of Back2Back, they bring two different people groups together and something amazing happens when relationships are formed that cannot be predicted or put in a box. I love to be a part of it each and every time.
Anyway, I was running this morning and I realized if I stared straight down at my next step of running, I felt sluggish and slow and wasn’t aware of what was going on around me and I kept thinking about how I could stop and rest, but if I looked out onto the trail/road ahead of me, my pace felt stronger and more reliable and I didn’t get messed up by the little potholes. I immediately thought about the eternal vs. the “here and now”. If I make choices to look toward the eternal with people, my pace is stronger and a bit more consistent in my everyday life. BUT, if I look to the “here and now” with people, I tend to get caught up in the potholes of irritations and frustrations of silly things, and I can feel at times like giving up.
“Treasures in heaven” I think I have mostly thought of this verse with the mindset of eternal rewards, kind of…. Don’t judge me on my theology, come on, just honesty coming out. But, if “storing up for yourselves treasures in heaven” was people, wow, this is kind of more valuable and more important to me now. Can I be apart of the eternal with someone else? Someone that God views as His treasures, such as the poor, the orphan? How do I go about running my race, here on earth, in the “here and now” but look out ahead at the eternal.
I don’t know. But, I do want to run the race and try. I want to live that life, the life that looks toward the eternal with every person in front of me, whether I am at the village or at the children’s home we work with or if I am staring at my children or cooking with my friends. Not to get irritated because of decisions people have made or whatever, but look past that and look at eternity with the Lord and them and move forward because God, I think, likes it.
This morning a man asked me, point blank, “What does someone have to do to become a Christian?” Hmmmm….. treasures in heaven, rich vs. poor, eternal vs. “here and now” --- I guess they can all come together in one moment, can’t they?