Saturday, November 13, 2010

Picking Up Garbage

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingom of heaven" - Matthew 18:3
Toward the end of my stay in Guatemala last summer, I found one of the simplest and most beautiful lessons displayed in one of the most unusual places. We had been working on a house during the week, and by about thurdsay, most of the construction was done. Because of this, a few us found ourselves at a loose end, at which point, our youth leader asked us if we wouldmind pick up the garbage that lay scattered on the ground behind and around the local village houses. While I wasn't exactly overjoyed to be chosen for the job, I picked up a plastic bag and wandered over to the back of one of the houses and started picking up the rubbish. My first thought...was that it smelled. My second... that I could get sick and my third... That I'd much rather be putting the finishing touches on the house. But as I knew that it wasn't about me, I put up with it and kept on going.
That was until a few of the village kids ran over with huge smiles on their faces. Not only were they intrigued in what my friends and I were doing, but they soon showed that theywanted to help. Soon enough I found myself smiling as they would climb over fences, and through weeds just to pick up one can that lay about 10 feet away. Their love and their kindness was contagious.
It was then that I realized that their actions were exactly like those to which God calls us. He tells us to become like Children before Him. He wants us come running with smiling faces to do his will - no matter how worthless or dirty it may appear. God doesn't want us to run away from His will because we're afraid that we may get sick, or because we think theres something better we could be doing. No, he wants us to come joyfully before him. And when we do that, people see our joy in what appears to be trouble, and hardship. They see our smiling faces, and wonder what is different. And this is what's different: We are children of God, joyfully picking up garbage.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Unread Love Letter

This morning while I was sitting in the back of the church service with the rest of the youth group I was listening to our Pastor talk. It was then he made a comment about the idea of a 'spiritual bucket list' - the things we want to do in terms of our walk with Christ before we go to heaven. He mentioned one idea that really struck me: Reading the entire Bible. While I'm sure many of us hold the Bible as very important, there are a vast many of us who have never come close to reading all of it. 'One day' we find ourselves saying, (myself included).
But something our Pastor went on to say, really spoke to me. He said "How would you like to be face to face with God after you've died and him say 'I wrote you an entire love letter - why didn't you read it?'
And that's so incredibly right. God loves us so much that He gave us His word. He didn't just give it to us so it could collect dust. It is for us to read. And even more to the point, He didn't just give us one verse. He didn't even highlight ones saying 'These are the important ones - only read these'. No, He gave us the entire word. Front to back. Genesis to Revelation.
It's a gift. A gift of love. And in many cases, it remains an unread love letter. Shouldn't we at least read it?