Like so many, I hated doing chores when I was a kid. Because I was the oldest of 5 kids, the yard came under my responsibility. Raking leaves, picking up limbs, and mowing. It was my job to keep it nicely groomed. Needless to say, the teen years were especially a pain. But when I started driving, chores became a source of income. So it kinda became a wash.
Later in life, after marriage and kids, it became a sense of pride and community commitment. Nobody wants to be the guy that had the jungle yard. I began to enjoy the results of hard work and a genuine joy and “well done” attitude was enjoyed after each week of work. I liked that the yard was nicely done, even added some different cuts to show a certain deign effort. I liked thinking “man this looks good. I’m proud to live here. My yard is awesome!” I loved it when Miss Sheri would mention how good the yard looked. “Yes it does”, I would think. “It certainly does.”
The last couple years have been different. I’m not really into it as much. Hired some awesome folks to keep it up for a while. They did great. But like anything, schedules changed. So I had to start mowing again. I thought if I bought me a really kickin mower, it might change my desires. I did. It didn’t.
Today I’m mowing, trying to catch up after rains and hurricane fears. It’s hot, I’m sweating, breathing like I’ve run 10 miles, and some guy sees me and stops. I stopped, wiped the sweat off and walked over. “You don’t look like you’re having much fun” he says. “Great” I say silently, “this ought to be good” I whisper as I walk over. “Ya know, I can do this for ya so you don’t have to worry about it. Edge, weed eat, keep it looking real nice. It’ll only cost ya $100.00 a month. If ya think about it, it aint that much.”
Tempting, but as he pulled away 2 things came to mind. It’s only an hour or two a week. I really need to be active, and I’d rather spend that 100.00 supporting someone who is on mission. Then I realized that’s seriously been an issue for me.
I’ve been a Christ follower for many years. And during those years, there were times when I was a Gospel sharing beast. Conversations about hope in Christ were oozing out of me all the time. Almost everywhere I went, I shared my faith. Not because it was a chore, but because my life was changed and I wanted others to experience that. I had been forgiven, rescued and mercy was covering me daily! How could I not want to share that?
The cost often came when my comfort was more important than others. So I began to let others do what I have been challenged to do at the cost of me being taken out of the game. I explained it away at times. I needed rest, I was tired, ministry is heavy and difficult. After all, Someone would ultimately step up…right?
I’m older now. Wiser, I hope. I’ve put time in, been tested, been challenged by people, changed by their lives, reminded of the true things. My theology is more Christ centered, my hope is more sure, my desires are less comfort driven, and I see more clearly concerning discipleship.
There are still those who we can support to move the Gospel. Still those who desire to be on the front line of a movement. Single minded folks who we all know. Their presence encourages us, challenges us and deep down we all want that desire, that focus on moving the Gospel. God calls from deep to deep, and some answer the call to go far away to share Jesus. HE calls others to stay here and move the Gospel at home with their neighbors, their family and their friends.
“If ya think about it, it aint that much.”
Or is it? What if what we pay by not moving the Gospel is a price far more than we realize? What if it involves more than just not being comfortable? How much is love worth? How much does obedience cost? What is the price others may pay if they don’t hear?
This isn’t an either or situation. Give so people can go. Please support those who are being moved by the Spirit. But by all means, go where you live, speak to those who you know, pray for those you meet. And remember. A cost was paid. The price was far more than we realize and it gave a gift far more valuable than we sometimes understand.