On Spending It All

 

Maybe I’m a natural spend-thrift, or maybe I’m a borderline hoarder. Maybe it’s cultural, maybe it’s part of the brokenness of the human condition.

Whatever it is, I hold on.

I always have some extra stored away. I don’t want to open the pantry and see only what is needed for the week, I don’t want to open my sewing cupboard and see only the fabric for my current project, I want to always keep some kind of safety net.

Maybe it’s wisdom to have some extra food in the pantry – like when you are hit with earthquakes, and power outages, and water you can’t drink.

But a life of holding on, keeping extra, making sure I have enough for myself isn’t a good metaphor for this life I’m called to live. The true calling of the Christian life must surely be to spend it all. 

 

To recklessly use every skill, gifting, resource at our disposal to God’s glory, for his people and that all may know and come and be welcomed.

The calling is to spend every cent and arrive giddy with the rush of squeezing value into every single part of it. Like the reverse of a ten-minute grocery grab – flying through life on a crazy dash spilling out Grace, and Love, and Hope and Joy wherever we go.

Knocking over the carefully piled stands of indifference, crashing headlong into image, and toppling self-centred, selfishness.

Around us people are handed terminal diagnosis every day. It feels unjust, it cripples and whispers fear into our hearts, into my heart at what sentence might be handed down at any moment.

But we are all terminal. 

Each of us has an unknown appointment with the end of our time in this present condition, this time of walking in this body in its un-resurrected state.

It seems to me when people are given a stark timeline it shifts how they see time, it transforms the way they spend time and it gives their lives new clarity. No longer prepared to do status quo life becomes something to treasure and to spend.

One of my most favourite stories in the bible is as David comes into the city with the ark and he strips down to his undies and dances with all his might. This leads to some marital discord but David replies –“It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honour.”

I love that image of David who didn’t hold back and limit himself to ‘appropriate kingly worship’. Because the truth is when we censor the way we worship, live for God, share our lives… we aren’t worshipping God we are worshipping people – because we have changed our posture to suit what won’t offend them.

How often do I, do we, change the way we worship because of the way we think others (in the church) expect us to behave. Do we censor ourselves under misguided fears and pride or do we do our worship with all we have?

Right now I am challenged. Challenged to spend it all with reckless abandon for the great audience of One to whom my whole life is a gift, for whom my talents are all available and from whose lips I long to hear ‘well done good and faithful.

God would you teach me, would you teach us all how to spend our lives, how to leave it all on the track having expended everything you gave us. Forgive me for the selfishness that limits my generosity. Turn my heart to wanting to give it all to you, and for you, and let me know how to worship like David. Thank you Jesus that you are my great example of living in the joy of giving it all.  

Let us all arrive at our face to face meeting with empty pockets and full, full hearts.  May we all be able to say – as Paul said – 

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering,and the time for my departure is near.

I have fought the good fight,

I have finished the race, 

I have kept the faith.

 

 
 
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