Repurposed

She said, “I wish I was like I was at 16 again.” Many of us understand the challenge of coping with the changes marking our years. That may be especially true as the decades really begin to pile up.

We exchange our youth and vitality for experience, skills and wisdom. I did mention that we trade in our vitality, didn’t I? Yes, there it is. Our vitality and youth slipping away in the trade. Perhaps that is what is most noticeable… our dwindling youth and vitality.

We repurpose items all of the time. Have you ever wondered if any of those “repurposed” items wished they were still new? Of course you haven’t. But is that idea any more ridiculous than my wishing I was not being “repurposed?”

It is easy to be “All In” when my assignment is glitzy and glamorous. It can occasionally be more difficult when I am “repurposed.” The view from an outsider looking in can often see great value in my new purpose, even if I am rusty and my tires are flat. The new beauty may be because I am rusty and my tires are flat.

Being repurposed is only a problem if I insist on defining my purpose. I need to be at peace with what God chooses for me. Isn’t that the way this “All In” discipleship works?

“All In” Really Gets Personal

C.S.Lewis was a difficult read for me as a younger man. It wasn’t that Lewis was too deep, which he was… deep that is. The problem was that I was too shallow, like a toddler in the 3 foot end of the swimming pool. The shallow end of the pool isn’t extreme, but a non-swimming toddler is too short to successfully navigate that depth.

In one of his addresses Lewis noted that one’s neighbor is “the holiest object presented to your senses” other than, of course, communion with God Himself. He mentioned one additional “more holy” object: a Christian neighbor.

It’s true you know. Since God created each of us, every individual is valuable just because He made us. Within those who are His, God the Spirit actually dwells. No surprise that Jesus didn’t mention the Greatest Commandment without including the Second.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV) [Emphasis mine]

This is where the business of being “ALL IN” gets personal. I can either ignore this reality and respond to people as the inconsequential interruptions to my life that they can sometimes seem to be – OR – I can respond toward all people with deference based solely upon the value that God places on them. (Easier said than done, wouldn’t you agree?)

I’m All In, at least most of the time. Are you?

As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

Blessings…

Picture: By Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA (Helping the homeless Uploaded by Gary Dee) [CC BY-SA 2.0(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

C.S.Lewis quote: The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Quoted in: Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.

 

Become More Like God By Giving

Several years ago while living in Western Pennsylvania, Cindy and I were having a really difficult time financially. All of our children were still living at home, we were 1400 miles from our families, our automobiles were beyond going, and there was no foreseeable way we could have them repaired or replaced. It was clearly out of our hands and we knew it.

A successful businessman from the church we attended was, unknown to us, replacing his wife’s minivan with a new one. They showed up at our door one evening and gifted us the Dodge Grand Caravan that was still, by our standards relatively new! After I pleaded with them, they allowed me to pay them the ridiculous sum of $1 just so I could claim I had bought it. (The male ego does seem to support the notion that God has a sense of humor.)

I am still, some 25-30 years later brought to tears as I write this. It is true that these people responded to our unspoken plea, but God was the source of our automotive deliverance. He moved the Sessions family and they responded to our need, not their own. They could have used the van as a trade-in, or sold it to another individual… but they didn’t. They responded to God by living outside of themselves, and forever helped change who I am.

Another couple, John and Carolyn recently bought a newer used automobile and asked me to find someone who really needed their older minivan. Now John and Carolyn’s minivan is with another couple who desperately needed it.

It is so easy to bless others by becoming “givers.” John and Carolyn could have easily sold the minivan (I’m sure they could use the money) but they didn’t. They chose to become more like the giver of the ultimate gift.

The next time you have something of value that will bless another person, consider giving it, instead of selling it. You may change someone’s life.