Tuesday, October 30

asceticism or indulgence?

Malacai is taking one of those rare naps that last longer than 20 minutes, which has left me with a good chunk of time to spend with the Lord in His Word and prayer, and also sort through my thoughts and emotions from the last few days. This past weekend was a fun whirlwind of relationships, as my mom, aunts, sisters and cousins came to camp for a girls retreat. On Sunday afternoon, most of the women had left and I was able to enjoy a few hours with just Autumn and Debi (and Cai of course). I always feel like I'm constantly learning when I'm with them - they both have such different interests than I do, and have both done their research, so I feel as though I'm mining the riches of health, parenting, homemaking, and christianity "tips" when we talk. And of course I'm left to wonder if the things that interest me are a waste of time, and I should rather invest my time, treasure and talents in more than crafts, creativity, and Pinterest.

Now, apart from my lifelong struggle to measure up (and realize that I'm not supposed to) to these two godly women, I am left in quandary today. What DOES the Lord want me to invest my time, talents and treasure in? What should gospel living in this western society look like? Specifically, what should it look like in my life? Is is vain and wasteful to spend money and time making book lamps and indulging my creative fancy? Are we supposed to be ascetics for the sake of the Kingdom? Is my Starbucks addiction fueling a self-indulgent lifestyle?

I of course hear a counter argument brewing in my mind: "No Erin, the Lord does not want you to be fanatical, living off of beans and rice and in a hut with only the clothes on your back. Be cautious of extremes, Erin." But for many believers, living off of beans and rice in a hut IS their life! And they seem to do it joyously, and their love for the Lord and their store of treasure in Heaven seems to be building as they carefully tuck away other dreams and learn contentment, sacrifice, and selflessness for the call of the Gospel.

So. My quandary limit has been reached for the day, and I'm left with a lot of questions for how the Lord desires ME to be living out my time in this flesh by faith in Christ - Christ, who had no home, no excess, and certainly no Starbucks.

Thoughts, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Oh man! I'm right there with you - lots of questions not many answers (at least not the kind I want). I am fighting the urge to schedule the heck out of my days/weeks to feel like I'm accomplishing something big for eternity. I know that the job of being a momma and a wife IS a worthy task and one that is worth investing whole heartedly. But I find myself feeling inadequate in other areas because of my focus on the home and family. I have found it helpful to view life in seasons right now. For example, in my current season, I can not be as involved at church as I may want to be because I have two little ones at home. But there will be a day, sooner than I expect, that my kids won' t need me as much and I can refocus on corporate ministry a bit more. I wish I could, immediately, gain a correct perspective in all this - but I think God want's to teach me through all this questioning.

    Thanks for sharing Erin!