“Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This last weekend I went on Mission Waco’s Poverty Simulation with a group of youth from our church. The weekend was a great experience overall, but the one thing that stood out to me above the rest is how quickly I forget the things that matter. I so easily get caught up in the petty things of life that don’t really matter when there are so many more important things I should be focusing on. Even though I just got back from seeing extreme poverty in Ecuador this May, I obviously needed to be re-minded (Definition of remind: “To cause to remember; put in mind”) once again about how I am living my life. I think that we as a Church have a similar habit of worrying about petty things when we should be re-minding ourselves that we are called to focus on the Kingdom of God.
Here are some petty things I personally have worried about in the last week or two and a reality about the world that I should have been thinking about instead:
Petty: The bubbles in my iPhone screen protector.
Significant: Spending that money on another adopted child in Haiti or Ecuador rather than something that will come off in 2 weeks anyway.
Petty: The brown patches in my yard.
Significant: The fact that people in WACO would love a cold glass of water and I’m watering my yard.
Petty: Where I should eat because nothing sounded good to me at the time.
Significant: The reality that people in WACO have not had a decent meal in months and I could treat them to something special.
Petty: If my shoes matched my belt.
Significant: I should look to give my extra shoes that I haven’t worn in a year away to someone because their feet may hurt (and they may need my exact shoe size).
But just like I can be extremely petty, so can the Church and our local congregation (Harris Creek) corporately. It is more than embarrassing to type out my personal extravagances and insignificant thoughts and put them for you to read, and it should probably embarrass us corporately to read the same as a Church body. Here are some I thought of:
Petty: What color of café tables and chairs should we spend a few thousand dollars on?
Significant: That money could have put almost 20 students through school next year in Haiti and 10 through college for a year in Ecuador.
Petty: That guy was wearing sandals and shorts on stage.
Significant: People won’t come into our environment because they fear being rejected based on appearance (for good reason).
Petty: The music was too loud on Sunday.
Significant: You can hear, first off. But more importantly, Church Under the Bridge had such a relaxed atmosphere to distractions that caused me to wonder what we are doing wrong.
Petty: We cut back donuts in the youth or didn’t have coffee for adults one Sunday.
Significant: There is a fairly obvious jump here.
As you can see, it is often good to be re-minded about what really matters. I am ashamed of the barriers I have built between my family and a large part of people in my community. I am not planning on moving out of the suburbs anytime soon (because I do not think this is the only solution), but I am planning on breaking down barriers. I am also ashamed for the ways churches ignore significant things and focus on things that do not matter. I do not think Harris Creek or all churches need to be like Church Under the Bridge (also because I do not think this is the only solution), but I do pray we learn from each other. I pray that we as a church body will continue to remind each other about what really matters in order to focus our energy and efforts there.