care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Rain Barrel Frustrations


At church we're beginning a series on vocation. Its more about our calling to God - to be disciples & followers of Jesus, and how that "primary calling" (or vocation) directs & influences our other "secondary calling" (or vocation).

Note, vocation here is not referring to the job I spend 40+ hours a week at ... although it includes that. More broadly it encompasses how my calling to belong to God influences my life in four particular areas -  family, church, occupation, and the culture I live in. In short, the idea of vocation - belonging to God as a disciple of Jesus Christ - impacts every area of my life, both big & small.

Here, I'll be addressing the small things, more particularly a small thing. From yesterday.

While reading through Col 3:1-17 this morning, I was convicted about my attitude/behavior yesterday.

Context: Yesterday, we went to church, it was awesome. Following that Mere & I knocked out groceries for the week, then she started on some school work, while I began what I wanted to do all day ... build and ready really cheap rain barrel & stand for our garden in the backyard! So my goal for yesterday above all else - I was in tunnel-vision mode about it - was to knock this simple project out. I was so stoked about it! Commence trip to Home Depot (HD), followed by a stop at my station/farm to cut a 4x4 to size, & get back home to assemble the stand! Pretty simple?

Home Depot was a mad house. What I thought was going to be a 20 minute trip, was an hour. Pus someone decided they needed my cart (& the items I was going to purcahse) more than I did. Who steals a cart? When returning to go by the station, I realized I had left my work keys at home (a total back-tracking trip of 6 miles (read: "Not that big a deal" But it felt like it). Got back to the station cut the 4x4, and went home. Only thing is, in between all this I was fuming. I was mad and irritated.

I don't think getting frustrated at frustrating situations is wrong. I think that is emotion. Its wrong when that frustration boils over into anger. That is what happened with me. I have a temper, and apparently badly want everything to go super smoothly with no hick-ups at all. 
So, long story shortened ... I finished it yesterday and if I may, its awesome! Free Water for our garden, which will be awesome too!

Here is where Col 3 comes in. With each of the 17 verses it seemed as layer, much like on an onion, were being painfully peeled back revealing a stronger and stronger stench ... that of self-absorbed sin. My actions from yesterday scream self-centeredness ... its because each thing that went wrong, was in opposition to my plan to easily & smoothly assemble the rain barrel system. Nothing bad happened other than that I was slowed down ... a lot. But just consider Paul's words:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is... Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God... But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth... Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another... And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him...

Everything in these verse instructs me to act the complete opposite of how I did. More than that it makes me ask, "What does it really matter that I got slowed down?" ... "Didn't I have the chance to enjoy the beautiful day, be creative, constructive, and productive for the enjoyment of the project and to do it unto the Lord? And wouldn't that have been so honoring to Him?" ... I think there is a lot to that. The thought that as a child of God, I can go about my daily life & hobbies knowing that while  am enjoying those aspects of life, I am also by those very actions honoring God. I think that is marvelous! I love that & I believe God does too.

So what did I miss out on yesterday? Well there was certainly no value added to my day from being worked up. I missed out on quality time w/ Mere as I let it affect us for a little while. I was not honoring God, I allowed the joy of things be taken right from me (although I still enjoyed putting it all together).

This speaks directly to my primary vocation ... belonging to God. As one who belongs to God I want to be marked like that, to be known as belonging to God b/c of how I live. yesterday I failed - it would seem - to live out my primary calling.

At the end of the day, I had my heart set on my own intentions ... meaning, come hell or high water, I was finishing that stand! Instead of, allowing my thoughts of belonging to Christ to direct me to pursue completing the stand w/ the joy of being creative & productive. I let the old man (anger) conquer the new man (patience). Finally, I am still not sure if while I was working on it if I did it as unto the Lord or not ... I think it was not. That makes me sad too.

But, I will not muddle there any longer, the good news is that, yesterday is past and today is now. I can work today for Christ and find joy and meaning in that. I know that I stand forgiven and complete before God in Christ Jesus, so I can move on from my failures and not live in guilt. But hopefully there is room for learning from all this.

PS - I'll get a pic of the barrel soon!