people vs. things part 1
something you might hear a lot in our home is my husband or me asking our oldest (and soon enough, our littlest), "what is more important, people or things?" our oldest knows the right answer, whether he believes us about it or not yet. and in case you think this is just what we are trying to teach our kids, believe me when i say the reminder is just as necessary for us older folk.
the answer of course: people. people, people, people, people. those people, as in, your next door neighbor, my check-out lady at target, the democrats and the republicans and the woman across the globe who is desperately trying to figure out how she will feed her baby daughter.
for my oldest son, the reminder comes often these days...like when a little brother is getting pushed aside for more time with a prized toy, again. or when the play date friend isn't getting to enjoy anything in our home because someone has eyes for only whatever toy they touch...
and the reminder is necessary again and again and again.
my husband and i went out to see the hobbit shortly after christmas. i love those little hobbits and i love the entire lord of the rings trilogy, not because i'm that into fantasy fiction, but because the characters are amazing and the stories full of truths in all of their fantasy. i especially loved the part in the hobbit when gandalf is trying to convince bilbo to sign his entire life way and join the quest at hand, though it is full of unknowns, danger and has no guarantees of security, comfort or success. at one point, when gandalf is reminding bilbo of the adventurous spirit he had as a younger boy, he asks him this, "at what point did your mothers dishes become so important to you?"
that question struck me as i'm sure gandalf meant it to do so for bilbo.
aren't we all truly longing to care more for people (people as messy as ourselves) and less for things (and all of our efforts to preserve them)? when that care is weighing heavy on the side of things, don't our hearts ache behind the tidiness of it all? don't we all long for the kind of adventure that only comes from linking arms with, fighting for and choosing, people? we (as small and weak and ordinary as we may be) were, afterall, made for such things as this.
there aren't any wizards knocking on my door, inviting me on adventurous journeys of fighting evil, (with the backdrop of new zealand) and asking me to sign my life away to do so...while beautiful, moving music plays in the background, might i add...
but wait? haven't i already signed my life away to such an offer of unknowns, possible danger, assured ridicule, no guarantees of security this side of heaven to the degree that i would love, nor worldly success or comfort? didn't someone better than a wizard come into my life and say this: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. “and isn't it all for the sake of loving him, our true King and being part of his rescuing of ALL people, and loving them more than the things that would seek to consume me otherwise?
as a mom of little ones, it's too easy to forget that choosing people over things will lead to adventure and that i am supposed to be living one. when days are filled with things like never-ending laundry and dishes and all things mundane and unglamorous, i am tempted to forget that there is more going on than meets the eye, that i must put the effort forth to be intentional in choosing people and that people's hearts are really at stake when i don't...hearts that belong to the little ones right next to me, the ones across the ocean from me and the one beating under my skin.
living out the belief that people are more important than things, in every season of life, changes everything. it starts with the people we live with and extends into the far reaches of the corners of the earth. i am amazed to know that choosing people in how we shop, what we spend our time doing and what we talk about, in the smallest ways can truly change the course of a life, thousands of miles away.
this is one of the reasons i decided to become a noonday collection ambassador but i will be posting more specifically about that at the end of the month...and one of the reasons why we make it a point to talk about the world in our home and in our conversations with our boys. though there are problems too many that feel too big to think about and too overwhelming to consider, i cannot ignore them. though my natural instinct is to escape and hide away in caring about things, doing so will keep me from seeing and experiencing jesus. period. as robert pierce, the founder of world vision, said, "do not fail to do something just because you cannot do everything."
Christ chose us.
part 2 to come...