Saturday, July 27, 2013

Righteous..... Jealousy?

The title there might be an oxymoron. It is meant to be, duh!. After I graduated bible college last year, I watched several of my best friends achieve success either by a job in their field, a marriage or some other crazy awesome "God thing". I look online and see how much they love their job and place in life and honestly get a little jealous. In a good way though, I am happy for them and love them all dearly. I get a case of what I call "righteous jealousy". Yes, jealousy is a sin but I think it's really bad when you take it way too far; like Cain did. Wishing you had success is not bad, it should strive you to get out there! But when I look at my life; I don't see a lot of joy. I see a menial 9-5 job. It's hard to find beauty in the mundane, but once in a while a crack of light breaks through. It's not that I don't see God working in my life, there are areas I'd rather see it happen. Sure I've lost almost 20 pounds since Christmas and  my relationship with my brother has been great. But I've always wanted a little more, I really do not deserve it but it would be nice!

During my final year at EBC, I prayed really hard about a job, preferably in youth ministry but anything that paid my bills. And preferably in Kitchener. I grew to love that city but was also half willing to take my job elsewhere. After two pastoral job interviews both saying no (both in different cities) I began to apply anywhere and everywhere in KW. In a frantic I kept printing resumes and going on bus runs, bike rides and etc to get my name out there. One came very close, but was a no. I did get a call to move to Sauble Beach and work at my brother's grocery store, it's not glamorous but the pro's outweigh the cons. Heck, he found a fully furnished apartment near the store for me. A God thing? Yeah!
In the end, I am grateful I ended up where I did. God places us wherever there's kingdom work to be done. I just don't see a career out of stocking shelves. However ministry calling is not necessarily about paid vocation, it is about the shepherds tending to the flock. In God's timing, His will is done. "Time to play the waiting game........ ooooh waiting game sucks. Let's play hungry hungry hippos"- Homer Simpson.

I am also reminded of some Scripture verses about God's direction:

Psalm 37:23- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
Proverbs 2:6-9- For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.
Luke 11:9-10- "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sabbath

*I started this blog entry in March, and just got back to it now*

Last year, I did a blog about "Sunday Shopping" and why I think it is okay to do so. Again, it is a beyond-outdated discussion. But this goes beyond Sunday. Now when God created the universe in six literal days, he rested on the seventh day and established "the Sabbath". On such a  day, The Pentateuch and Jewish Law strictly forbid anyone from doing work but to focus solely on God, attend temple, atone for sins, etc..  When Jesus was eating with the tax collectors on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were furious! To which Jesus replies: (paraphrased) "If one of your sheep went missing, would you go looking for it? Or hold onto your strict laws, letting it die"? Given the historical context behind this and the importance of sheep back then, I'd go find it! I would go beyond this, say someone was sick and your a doctor, would you save a life knowing its the Sabbath? You know my answer..
When I think of a Sabbath, I think of a day where I am not scheduled to work. A day for God and myself. Now is a Sabbath necessarily supposed to be Sunday? I disagree. Why? Look at people who work regularly on Sundays: clergy. They are working, but are also making disciples. Which is why almost every pastor I know has their "Sabbath" on Saturday or Monday. Anyone in the service industry works Sunday, right now I am working nights, working til 6:30am and do not desire to stay up to go to church.
The Jewish Sabbath begins Friday at dinner time and lasts throughout all of Saturday. The Muslim Sabbath is Friday and the Christian is Sunday. Also, God ordained the Sabbath thousands of years before the Julian calendar was even invented. So, on whatever day you have off take time to read, listen to worship music, go be in nature and simply be with God etc. Give that day to Him. Give ALL of your days to Him.
Making use of a Sabbath is beneficial to the soul, do it as often as possible. In a busy, work work work world, try and use some spare time for Christ.