The Answer

The Answer

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I stepped outside last evening before I retired. It was about 11pm. I go outside regularly about that time for just a minute or two, depending on the weather, to take in the night sky, the night air, and the night environment. There’s something soothing and comforting to me when I do that. I’m reminded of God’s creation…a lot…during those brief times.
I wasn’t out more than a minute or so last evening because of the cold and the wind. It was about 15 degrees, and the wind was blowing from the north at about 15 miles an hour where I was. I didn’t have any coat or wrap on, so I quickly noticed the chill.
Coming back into the warmth of our home, I mentioned to the wife that I have difficulty understanding how anyone can spend the night outside, on the ground, in this weather regardless of how many coats, blankets, wraps, etcetera, that they have. She said something to the effect that they would constantly feel cold and uncomfortable. And as I slipped under the covers of the bed, which had a heated mattress pad, I was both uncomfortable with the situation for others, and thankful for my own.
How does one reconcile living/sleeping in a too-large home, heated and cooled, with various amenities such as a heated bath floor, hot water shower, heated mattress pad, and all that goes with that when others have nothing and are outside in the cold? How does one justify the elegant comfort of modern vehicles with heated steering wheels, heated & cooled seats, electronic and automatic everything, when others have no transportation to get to a food bank or the doctor, and don’t have money for bus fare to get a ride to the food bank?
And then I think of the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol” where the ghost of Christmas present shows Scrooge Ignorance and Want, and forces him to acknowledge them as reality.
For me, this is a dilemma. God has blessed us with more than we need. We give, we believe, rather generously to the church. We volunteer. We advocate for others. We work to try to improve the lives of others. But for some reason, this doesn’t seem to be enough at times. That nagging feeling that we are somehow squandering what God has given us, or that we are selfishly using too much while others don’t have enough shows up in our minds. It’s a feeling and thought that won’t go away.
Am I doing enough with what God has given me? Am I being selfish with any of it? What does God expect of me? How does He want me to live?
I take seriously the command to love God and love my neighbor. I also take seriously the command of Jesus to “love one-another” that he gave to the disciples. Do I take them seriously enough? Am I missing out, either unknowingly or deliberately, on opportunities to love? Are my built-in biases keeping me from seeing the human being that God loves instead of “That guy needs to quit panhandling and get a job,” or “That woman needs to quit shacking up with anyone who looks at her,” or “That kid needs to quit screaming and raising a fuss.”
I admit I don’t have the answer. I wonder if any of us really does. In the meanwhile, I continue to rely on the grace and mercy of God as, through faith, I count on the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive my ineptitude, arrogance, greed, and self-centeredness.

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