Saturday, August 22, 2015

And Be Thankful

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I've been feeling fairly restless today. Some days are better than others, but after talking about money with a few different people, I can't help but feel like I'm doing something wrong. And so my reaction is to make something happen! Because I have friends that do that and it seems to work well for them. But what? Should I write a blog post, market the blog, finish editing a video for the blog? How about music -- I have a lot of songs I've been trying to finish recording...but music doesn't make any money. Well, there's this novel I've been working on -- maybe that's worth my time. Oh, but it takes so long to get paid for a book, I need something now!
Before too long, I've run through so many ideas in my head that I feel dizzy. It's all very daunting trying to "make things happen," and so maybe it's time to just go get a real job. Or learn a trade! But which one...?

Then I talk to my wife and she reassures me (a common theme recently) that the burden of our lives is on both of us, not just me. I wish I could take it all myself, especially financially, but I just can't. Right now I'm a provider in more ways than just money, which is a hard pill to swallow as a man. And so I do something that doesn't make a lot of sense, but seems to be all I can do in this frenzied tornado of thoughts -- let go.
And as I let go, I feel peace. Despite the circumstances and my general opinion towards what is going on, I feel peace. An unnatural, maybe even supernatural peace.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word of deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)
What does the peace of Christ mean for us? I know in that verse it's speaking more towards church unity, but it sparked the thought as I sat in a moment of peace, abandoning the white-knuckle grips of control I was holding to. Jesus didn't teach us to "make things happen," but to work towards an enduring kingdom, His kingdom, where the currency is souls surrendered to Christ, of far more worth than money. The rest of this verse supports that: community, God's word, worship, service and gratitude. This is to be our focus.
Notice that being thankful is mentioned thrice here. It's like the concrete that fills the cracks between the bricks. Live in community...and be thankful...dwell in the word and sing to God...with thanksgiving...whatever you do...give thanks. In moments of despair, like ones I've been in lately, maybe the way out is simply thanksgiving.
I'm still not sure how to handle our current situation, but I do know that the first step is to look to God with thanksgiving, and examine what I'm doing to work towards expanding His kingdom. As Jesus said, the rest will fall into place -- and maybe that's what the peace of Christ means: trusting that He will provide (because He said He would) and knowing that we are working towards a greater kingdom than our own (which is worth way more than I could ever earn in a year...).
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

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