Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The end results

I like to use this blog sometimes to sort out my thoughts.  Today I was thinking about the past and the present and I thought how things have changed.  Life year after year becomes more about the end results than the process of living.  I am not speaking personally but socially.  Life has always had humanity working for its needs like food, shelter, comforts... however an ever speeding up trend has brought about a loss of joy in our society.  Today we are so concerned with the end result...the kids must begin academics as soon as possible, to get ahead to get into the "best" schools to get into the "best" jobs to get into the bigger houses and nicer places.....but I wonder do they?  I mean is that really going to guarantee happiness and joy in my children's lives.. What do we sacrifice when we make an idol of materialism?  Ultimately that is what it amounts to.  Is it somehow a failure if the child has a love for nature and is full of joy living a simpler life? What if farming is their passion, or they find homemaking as their jot?  Have we failed?   Are we even allowing our children to discover their own passions and paths or are we so focused on the "best" we push them along blindly.  So many kids today don't have free time, time to explore on their own to be bored.  Have we accidentally made childhood too much like the adult world.  Competitive sports for kids?  Think about it....playing is how children learn, through play, pretend....now we have taken play and made it about the end...how good at that particular thing you are doing.  Sit at a 10 year olds soccer game one Saturday morning and listen to the comments and you will quickly see its not about kids having fun and getting exercise...its about winning and being the "best".  Learning takes time and each child is different in how they learn and process....but we have made it about the end...how well they do on tests, how early they start reading, we even give awards to kids who never missed a school day...which is actually an award in having a great immune system!  Even our entertainment is being the "best" American Idol, the Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, Amazing Race...... Our culture has no place for those who are not the best. Wasn't that Satan's fall, wanting to be the best....wasn't that Eden's fall wanting to be equal in knowledge to God (being the best).  We were never called to be the best...in fact we were called to give up our lives for the sake of the Gospel.  Where does this leave a Christian....how can we be the "best" and yet think of others as better than ourselves, how can we live a life of service to others.  Its almost taken a weird turn within our religious circles....look around we must be the best preacher, singer, church and when people don't deem it as the best they look elsewhere.  How can we be led by the Spirit if we are driven by the world's standards as what is best.  Jesus was very clear in Luke we are told... 

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Can you imagine what this would look like today.....

As Jesus drove into the subdivision he went to the home where Martha and Mary lived.  Mary spend the day enjoying the company of Jesus and talking with him.  Martha was so distracted, she couldn't believe he just showed up on a Saturday, didn't he know that she had soccer in the morning a championship game, then grocery shopping, now she had company so she had to clean up the house, get to the laundry and then get the kids to piano lessons they have a recital in a few weeks, get a yoga class in there or she would never get that 20 year old body back.  She just needed a few minutes to put on that makeup and she would ask him if he could come back tomorrow after she worked the nursery at church and stayed for a service, she couldn't miss it, it was about how to simplify her life.  Then she had book club which she needed to attend because she didn't spend all that time reading to miss a discussion.  Ooh but her if son won his game today he would have the next game on Sunday....and then they had ice skating classes....

I am not shaming busy people, with 8 kids I am busy too....my thought is that we have made ourselves "worried and upset about many things"  things that began as fun or service.  Maybe if we didn't need the biggest houses we wouldn't need to clean to often, or maybe if we didn't feel the need to look "the best" we wouldn't constantly be trying to turn back the hands of time.  Jesus told us the best was knowing Him and spending time with Him.  I for one am convicted that I do not stress this all the time in my own life or in my kids lives.  I spend too much time worrying about math skills or reading levels. Worrying about what kinds of jobs they will find or how well they will score on their SATs.  We have lost focus....we are a bunch of Marthas looking down on the Marys. You will often find that those with less have more joy...all these distractions we have worked so hard to attain have actually become our burden.  I need to refocus my life on what is truly best....Jesus.

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