Living in this tension

I remember when Diane and I were dating.  I didn’t have a credit card and I didn’t have much money.  We were somewhere and she saw this bear that was about 2 foot long/tall.  It had a zipper in the back where you could put pajamas or something.  The bear had a Pittsburgh Pirates jacket and hat on.  I had a limited amount of money with me and told her she could buy the bear or we could go out and eat.  She chose the bear.  She had the bear for about 28 years until she recently gave it to the Zerkle House (thrift store) at Mason UMC before we moved this past July.  She had to decide what to pack up and bring and what we were going to leave behind.  I could easily go down the ‘leave it behind’ road in today’s post.  And if you need to hear leave it behind, that’s what you can take from today’s blog.

But what’s on my mind is the example about choices.  When she chose the bear, she chose wisely.  It’s not like we went hungry that day.  I wouldn’t be talking about that meal today.

And now, as a follower of Jesus, I often think about the choices I make.  I have several weeks of vacation coming to me that I either use by the end of June or I lose them.  And in deciding what to do with the vacation weeks, money is one of the main factors.  Here we are again, the proverbial choice of the bear or a meal?  While we’d both love to go back to Haiti on Diane’s spring break in March and take Adam again, that’s out of the question.  We know we’re going to New England to see Matt in late May and help him move out of the dorms.  We may be going to Oklahoma on a mission trip at the end of June, hoping to take both Adam and Matt and that’s going to be a substantial amount of money for the 4 of us if it works out that we can all go.

We could quit sponsoring the 2 kids in Africa through Compassion International, we could quit tithing through the church, Diane could quit being so generous, and we could afford to do most of what we want.  But that’s not an option.  Those are things that truly matter in eternity.

I apologize that this is like a ‘dear diary’ entry today.  Just know that I have the same struggles that many of you have about choices.  And I think it’s the same thing for nearly all of us, but on a different scales.  Do I take the family to Europe for vacation or give the money to Samaritan’s Purse to build a water well in Africa?  Do I buy a new truck or do I tithe?  Life is full of choices and as followers of Jesus, we live in this tension between this life in this world and eternity.

And don’t judge me if we take off for Diane’s Spring Break. 😉

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