Page 333 was back to the work routine following a nice Thanksgiving holiday break. The pest control service was due today so it was an early start to the day to meet our service rep before beginning the cleaning for the day. As I did the early morning cleaning, I also prayed about the rest of my day and sought direction for the prayer guide for next week. Once the cleaning and building prep was done and the trash taken out, it was time to settle in for the morning to spend time with God as we put together next week’s prayer guide.
I eventually decided to write the next prayer guide with a focus on our need to share. God has not only called us to be people who share, He set the example as everything we have has come from His willingness to share with us. Paul writes to the Corinthians, and to us, “What do you have that you have not received?” The implied answer in the questioning is that I don’t have anything that I have not received. The follow-up question is just as direct, “If you did receive it, why do you act as if you did not?” When it comes to sharing, we would do well to always remember what it is that is actually of our own doing and what it is that we have received from God. It is when we are able to keep that perspective, that we realize the meaning of Jesus telling His followers, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
But this command to share is not just about stuff. God wants us to share our self with people — our time, our abilities, our talents, our words, our listening — whatever it is that we have, we have not only received it but we are called to share it. I probably should mention that this sharing should be a result of time spent with God seeking both wisdom and courage in being able to share what we’ve been given in effective and productive ways. Sometimes it is a tough balance to be able to share in useful ways and not wasteful ones, but those are the questions we must take before God and listen intently for His answers. For me, as I share the books that God has given me to write, I tell people they can take what they will use. I want to be able to freely share the gift God has given me, but I also feel a responsibility to avoid wastefulness as much as possible. I can’t guarantee that every book that is picked up from my display at a conference is put to immediate use, I can ask people to only take them if they will use them, and then trust God to cause His gift to me to bear fruit in the lives of people at just the right time.
Once the writing of the prayer guide was complete, I scheduled it to be published and emailed out next week. The rest of my work day was spent taking care of some minor tasks in the building and going through mail and correspondence from the extended weekend. By mid-afternoon, it was time to head out and take care of some missions banking and get some lunch before heading home.
Today’s photo was taken a couple weeks ago as I hiked a trail in the Natural Bridge State Park. While I enjoy the beauty of the natural settings that I am able to visit and photograph, I also realize the beauty is not meant just for me and that I need to share it with others. The photography gift that God has put in my life and allowed me to develop has allowed me to share the gift of natural beauty with people who will never be able to visit some of the parks and locations I go to. Every once in a while I begin thinking that I post too many photos on social media and then God will use someone to remind me of how much the sharing of them means to them.
I pray that you and I would not only enjoy the breaks that we are able to take from the routines of life, but that we would enjoy the routines as well. I pray that we would seek God in the midst of every task that fills our days. I pray that we would honestly consider all that God has given us. I pray that our evaluation of what we have received would lead us to a life of joyous sharing. I pray that we would seek God for wisdom and courage in knowing how and when to share what He has given.