Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Multi Million $ Boondoggle

One of my goals with writing is to be reflective without just being critical.  Not easy for me.  So as I think and write, I'm just praying that instead of just seeing faults in others, I will look at myself, and see my own plank.

A local ministry has just finished a new building.  Instead of being a cornerstone for its organization, graceful and classy, it has become a multi million dollar monstrosity.  I've driven by it a couple of times recently and each time, I just shake my head.  I'm sure those involved use justifications like, "Well, it's a quality facility that will be utilized by men & women preparing for ministry for years!" &  "Countless people all over the world will be impacted by the men and women encountering God in this very building."  And I'm sure the justifications go on and on.  Because this wasn't just one person's idea.  There were lots of board members and donors who thought this was a good idea.  But sometime between the concept and completion, things went horribly wrong.  It is tasteless and over the top expensive.

A good friend was visiting the area this summer and had just finished listening to another ministry share the reality that pastors and families are starving in Sierra Leone.  Personal friends.  No money. No food.  Then my friend went for a drive past this other ministry and this new building.  Her heart broke.  Somehow, we have become immune to the cries from the poor and helpless and have become convinced that we NEED  all of this stuff in North America to minister.

This is where it becomes me being reflective.  How much stuff do I need when the poor and the helpless are crying out just for food... rice... not even fun food like ice cream... just food.  And what are my justifications?  Well, we're spending a boat load of money on our adoption.  We faithfully give to our church.  I throw money at special projects, every once in a while.  I need to have fun.  Even God wants me to be entertained, doesn't he?  My house will minister to my neighbors, and friends.  I don't want to be embarressed.  We only have one vehicle.  My husband takes the bus to work for crying out loud.   Talk about sacrifice!  I have one son in university and another child will join in a year.  It all takes money.

Yes, it does all take money.  But somehow, I have to close my ears and eyes to all of the stuff that consumes me.  The stuff that is shouting out to me.  I need to listen to God.  I need to tune in to the hurting all over the world.  I don't need to live in guilt.  I just need to walk with God.  I have to hear and listen to His voice.  

Lord, consume me with your fire.  Drown out the false voices all around me.  Help me to hear you and you alone.

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