from Rachel: A Place to Belong

“May 7

“Yes, I feel it does. On Monday nights I am a Sparks leader and have been the song leader. On Tuesday mornings I babysit the children of any moms who choose to attend the Bible Study. I take home all of the office’s paper trash for recycling. Wednesday night we have choir or ensemble practice. On an occasional Friday I try to have a Women’s Joy Club meeting. Some Sunday mornings we arrive early for ensemble practice, then during the service I am often on the platform singing (5+ hours/week).

“My weak link is prayer for each of my ministries throughout the rest of my week. In that aspect, I really fall down on the job.”

Dearest Rachel –

In today’s lesson (or rather, the lesson from May 7, 2004), it would seem that we are birds of a feather. If our involvement in the church community served as a demonstration of our belonging to God’s family, and I think that from outward appearances, anyone would think we belonged. That’s not meant as a boast or either of our parts; it just is what it is (and was what it was).

Of course, while our response here is meant to indicate whether we thought we were ‘doing our part,’ One thing this lesson didn’t dress but that we were always cognizant of was the fact that none of these ‘good works’ were even remotely salvation level caliber. What we did was not intended to prove ourselves to God that we were worthy of him (because of course we weren’t – and aren’t), but rather yet another means to express gratitude to Him by giving back to Him and His family – which we were now a part of – In the hopes that it could (indirectly, at least) contribute to others becoming part of the family.

One other small thought on this matter, and you’ll have to determine for yourself how and whether this applies. Just yesterday in the men’s group, the discussion was on the topic of sloth. Apparently, it’s not the same thing as laziness. One can be slothful and quite busy at the same time; the question is whether we are busy with the right things. The story of Martha and Mary comes to mind; Jesus pointed out that Martha was not concerned with the most important thing. And so, while it’s too late for you to question what you were doing (although you were well aware that your shortcoming was in your prayer life – which, again, makes us birds of a feather), it’s something I still have to consider and question going forward.

I’ll be honest, there are times when I do what I do as sort of a means to ‘check a box.’ I’ve done my spiritual duty for the day of the week, now let’s get on with a little bit of ‘me time.’ And while doing something just to be checking a box is better for all concerned than me simply doing nothing, I need to be better about not simply phoning it in when I serve in God’s family. I can’t simply sleep walk through service.

As always, honey, wish me luck. I’ll be needing it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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