Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Father's World by Linden Malki

We seem to be living in an world where everyone wants free stuff. If you Google "free stuff", you get 1.5 billion hits. A young man who worked part time for us this summer asked me what kind of car I would want if I could get it free. That was a tough question, because I know there would be a hook in in somewhere--and it would still require gas, maintenance, insurance, and more. When we did fireworks sales for camp scholarship money, one of the big deals was the BOGO items--buy one, get one free. If you looked at it carefully, if you buy one for the price of two, you get the second one free. We get customers who are upset when their car breaks, and really want somebody to fix it for free and compensate them for their inconvenience. My usual answer is that if I could go out back, wiggle my nose, and make it happen, I wouldn't be working for a living.  Too many people seem to think that if they want something, somebody ought to give it to them, just because they are the most important person in their own eyes.

That, however, is not the world we live in. We are born into a world that God made, and He owns it. Even Adam in Eden had to take care of the Garden that fed him. We live in a world that needs to be taken care of. One afternoon when my husband and I were working around our place, I realized that a lot of what we were doing was trying to stay even--fixing things, cleaning things, feeding things, picking things up, dealing with things. God made the oranges on the tree-but they only turn into a glass of orange juice if we've watered the tree, picked the oranges, squeezed the juice into a glass that we have bought, stored and washed as necessary.  God lets us live in a world that has the potential to feed, shelter and clothe us--but He also made us with the brains and strength that make it happen. Too often, we use those brains and strength to short-circuit the process. I see customers who will work harder to make the wrong part work than find the right part. Too many people put their efforts into cheating or stealing to get what they want at anyone else's expense. I occasionally use my ring of keys as an illustration of original sin.

God has not only given us the privilege of living in this world; He offers us the privilege of His Eternal world. We cannot earn it; He has already paid the price. We can only do this by taking our eyes off ourselves and what we want, and look at Him.

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