This Lenten blog might not have to do a lot with Lent, to be honest. We’ll see. But I did want to share with you how God was working on my heart last night and this morning. When I got home from work yesterday, I then had a wonderful private dinner with my amazing wife. It was too quick, as we then had to run to church for our Fishers Education Night. A great Easter planning meeting with our leadership team, and we were back home. Yet something was bugging me. I couldn't find my phone. I was certain that I had left it in our kitchen on the island, but now it was nowhere to be found. I did the old ‘call your own phone’ trick to see if it would reveal itself. Nothing. Then went to bed still wondering/stewing/dwelling too much on it.
This morning, same thing. But on top of it all, I was now sniping at the kids and Mitzi. And it only got worse as I continued to let it ferment inside of my heart and mind. When this happens, it displaces all of the peace and joy that God gives to us in this life, and our focus moves from Him to our “stuff.” I continued to think about it and let it fester inside of me as I drove to work a bit later, finding fault with every driver on the road. Everyone was driving either too slow (jerk!) or too fast (idiot!). Where was the peace and serenity that I normally feel as I make my short commute each day, driving along the beautiful Saint Clair River on a late winter’s day? Satan had robbed me of it. His claws got into me to allow his thoughts to not be God’s thoughts and his ways to not be God’s ways, all of which our heavenly Father gives to us out of His never-ending stores of His grace.
This was just getting nuts! Where were my priorities? How could I so easily go from who God made me to be to someone unrecognizable as a believer and “truster” in Christ? My pride, my comfort, my desires had been getting the better of me. If I got this upset about a stupid phone, where was my righteous indignation toward the homeless condition of those living with far less than I've been given? The hungry, the forgotten, the estranged from God. Here’s what God then placed on my heart to share with you on this day: “If one of you says to him (someone in need), ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:16 – 17 Wow! What a smack upside the head for me! To get all caught up in the “stuff” of this life, letting it control us to a certain degree, while losing sight on the reason the Church is here in the first place (James also calls this “true religion’): To give away ourselves in faith and action to God and to those around us. May the solemnity and somberness of this Lenten season continue to let us always look inwardly at ourselves and our plans for our lives and the Church God has given to us. Peace.
The phone? I left it on my desk here at work. God is always good, even to the fools and sinners.
FISHERS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Pastor Joseph Doenges
WORSHIP SUNDAY 10:00 AM
301 N. 6th Street
St. Clair, MI 48079
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization