2019-05-15 Stripping Off Gear

“And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey,
no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money;
and do not wear two tunics.’”
Luke 9:3

A friend of mine writes a blog. Today he wrote about his insincerity on Sunday mornings, about how his mind wanders. Here’s the link: https://wp.me/p7DJHS-1kX

I have the same problem. I’ve also found my mind wandering far too much during prayer, even my own prayer. In fact, I think ABOUT God far more than I talk WITH him. With a little effort, I could be communicating with the creator of the universe throughout the entire day. I have a hotline that I really need to use more often than I do.

It’s the cares of this world, I tell you, that get us all tangled up. I’ve been writing about this lately. We have little margin to work on, or so it would seem. We are also carrying around way too much gear. I remember a scene from “Platoon” in which the new guy was going on his first patrol. He had all his issued gear. The sergeant started pulling off equipment until he had just his clothes, gun, and ammunition. The sergeant was wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and a bandana. That was all that was necessary. Any more would put the individual – and platoon – in danger. Their “stuff” could cost them their lives.

I think this is precisely the lesson Jesus is teaching his disciples, and us, as he sent them out to cast out demons, heal the sick, and proclaim the kingdom of God. Remember that? Remember also when they returned, and he asked them if they needed anything? They didn’t.

My problem is that I have so much stuff that I can’t leave my house let alone go on a trip, spiritually speaking. I’m not the only one. There is so much clutter in our lives that we can’t even find time to do the things we need to do. Melissa and I have been trying very hard to intentionally develop relationships with people from church. We want to really know the people who are otherwise very familiar strangers. It’s virtually impossible. After a few times of, “We should do that sometime,” someone finally pulls out a calendar. Maybe something can line up three weeks down the road. Never does something work that day.

If we can’t build authentic relationships within our own church family, how in the world are we supposed to build relationships with those who desperately need to know Jesus?

I say we need to strip off some gear. A lot of gear.

Father, teach me. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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