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.

 

 
 

On The Invitation

Maybe you know what it’s like to be a social event and feel totally cut adrift.

Maybe you wore pantyhose and high heels and everyone else was bare-legged and sandalled. Maybe you couldn’t find your voice when everyone else wouldn’t stop theirs. Maybe you just feel terrified someone will ask you dance and worse than hanging on the edge, you’ll be front and centre and make a fool of yourself.

There you are cut off – in the midst of noise, action, laughter, conversation. Unnoticed and conspicuous both together – in some kind of cruel union of the worst of those things.

…. and he stretches out his hand to you…. looks into your eye with love and approval and maybe a hint of a smile…. and he invites you into the dance.

This dance isn’t one with special steps, where you can’t follow and you get all tangled up. This dance is both wild and graceful, serious and crazy. It’s a dance of everyone and only you. The eternal dance where you are embraced, and sung to and sung over. It’s a dance where you swept into the music like a small child is swept wildly round off the ground in the arms of a parent.

There you are – fully integrated, invigorated, breathless and all your carefully put together outfit and hair gets just as unruly.

…and right there in the centre of that dance you are invited to be never on the outer, never performing for anyone, not even for him. You are invited to participate and be integrated and be filled with the joy that comes from a crazy, whirling, responsive, spontaneous dance.

you are invited

He’d like you to say yes.