Friday, October 8, 2010

Give meaning to your stuff.

We have been trapped by the idea of success according to the Western Culture. You stuff does not give meaning to your life – YOUR LIFE GIVES MEANING TO YOUR STUFF! One of my favorite authors Don Miller wrote the following article on his blog If you decide that you want to follow in his footsteps, let's network and make sure that everyone knows of the opportunities. For example, I know a missionary family in Gauteng who is in dire needs of a vacation but who are not able to afford this. Let's network and start a community of care and love.

This past week a friend hosted several pastors and I for a hunting trip on His ranch in Central Oregon. We were there for a few days, but while we were there our friend treated us like Kings. He guided us up and down the mountains, making sure each of us got a buck. He and his team paddled us across the lakes on his property, making sure each of us caught a trout. All the while, he never fired a shot or put a hook in the water. One early morning while watching the sunrise from on top of a hill, scouting for deer, he mentioned he’d only shot at one buck the entire time he owned the ranch. He simply said I like guiding more than hunting. It’s more fun.
The experience got me thinking, once again, about how Jesus told us He’d gone to prepare a place for us, a place where we could some day be together. I imagine Jesus preparing a place for my friend, a place for Him to hunt, to cultivate land, to entertain friends. Jesus is creating an existence, a material place for wonderful things to happen.  It made me think about how cool it was that my friend, in preparing a ranch for others to be together and to be with God, was imitating the heart of God without, perhaps, even realizing he was doing it. As he planned his ranch, his lakes and ponds and fields for deer and elk to graze, he wasn’t thinking about himself, he was thinking about others.
I don’t have a ranch. In fact, I only have a small condo. But I don’t want it to be a place just for me. I want the stuff in the condo and the food in the pantry and the furniture in the guest room to be for others. I’ve been able to do a little of that in the last year, convert my home into an imitation of God’s place, and in so doing, I’ve discovered a little secret my friend with the ranch must have discovered a long time ago: Managing God’s stuff for the enjoyment and comfort of the people God loves is a blast. It gives meaning to your things, and a feeling of importance to the places you get to live within.
My friend with the ranch has a simple home outside Portland, but it’s a home with a barn attached, and he’s built another barn, not for himself, but so he and his wife can host weddings and events for youth groups. How much better would our homes feel if the living room were the place where that pastor and his family from Eastern Europe came and shared a meal and interacted with our neighbors, or the yard was the place where the soccer team from the school across the street had their barbecue? Our homes would be charged with meaning and character and, well, life! Our entertainment center wasn’t designed so we could watch movies, but so neighbors could come together and watch football while we serve them hamburgers. What if we managed our homes like little meeting places God used to bring people together?
I heard Dallas Willard say recently that we have been asked to rule for God, under God. I loved that picture. I get to manage God’s condo for God, according to the desire of His heart, that many lives would be saved, enriched with meaning and special moments and community.
What are the things you’ve done to convert your home into God’s home, a place you get to manage for Him?

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