Saturday, June 09, 2007

Is This a Good Time?

How often has the voice at the other end of the phone began a conversation with the question; "Is this a good time?" And you know what's coming next; the pitch. A salesperson, co-worker, pastor, recruiter for a committee, or student away at school needs you to give, join, help, volunteer.
My requests are often from missionaries and ministry leaders who are looking for more support and visibility and think that Santa Barbara would be a good place to find more money. So I get invited to dinners and lunches to hear the pitch, plea, presentation and request. The challenge for me as a disciple of Jesus and pastor of a church is to steward the resources of my personal finances and time and that of the church. I know that the budget is running at 80%+ of where it should be. I know that many current mission commitments and missionaries are under-funded. I know that we are not supporting Conference ministries to the level that they deserve. I know my shortages. And my knee-jerk reaction to appeals is very much like the widow of Zarephath when she was approaced by Elijah for some water and a meal. "There is just not enough to go around. My son and I are dying here. This is not a good time."
How is it that we in the USA live in chronic short-fall? Whatever it is that you currently make, even if you are on social security or welfare, still puts you in the upper 90% of the world's population. Why is it that we live so breathlessly, so exhusted, so in debt, so tired, so stressed, so hungry that we are killing ourselves with obesity?
When I look at my own life, the answer is that I have let things get out of balance. God gets whatever is left-over at the end of my want-list (which usually does not end, just gets more attachments). When I give God the first of my time in a day, there is enough for the rest. When I give God my relationships, there is enough patience to love the unlovely ones. When I give God my money in a tithe, there is enough to eat and cover myself and my family. Yes, this is a good time.


At 3:20 PM , Blogger Dan said...

"...so hungry that we are killing ourselves with obesity?" that phrase grabs me... it is one of those 'power' statements that strikes an insane (dare i say even obscene) irony's of our society.

Once again, you author a thought provoking post.


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