is your cart too full?

>> March 8, 2010

Sometimes as girlfriends in the ministry it's so hard to balance it all.

The cell phone is ringing, guests are coming over, the baby needs to be changed, and you have yet to get into the word or get plugged in for yourself. However we still find time to blog, twitter, check facebook (and let's not forget texting)! We seem to find the time for the things we want to do and desire to do, but the things that are most important get brushed under the rug.

Let's pretend our life is a grocery cart - or buggy, depending on the area of the country you live in. All the things that we're doing pile up as we shop through life. Daily tasks, business and life fill our carts, but at what cost?

We ask God to give us things, not just material possessions but also ministries, and we ask for opportunities. Then when he gives them to us we end up pushing these carts that are full to overflowing. We've lost the simplicity of "drop everything and follow him". Our carts are so full that we have lost sight of our neighbors, the grocery clerk, and the moms in the park.

I know in ministry our lives are already so full, and we share our husbands and we are under a microscope, but do we count the cost? We can always take our carts and walk back through life and put things back on the shelf.

We want and we want and we want - but so often we don't think of what the cost is going to be. We walk through life thinking we have to have this ministry or we have to have this item and the fact is we can't afford it! In our spiritual lives are we really ready for what we're asking God to give us? Can we really afford it? We each determine what our cost is going to be.

Luke 9 talks about the cost of following Jesus.
"As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
He asked his disciples to leave it all and just follow him.
No procrastination.
No backward looks.

You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day. Girlfriends, it may mean taking the coffee date with our bff out of the cart to make time to meet with a single mom. It may mean inviting someone into our home that will stay all day. It may take you emptying your whole cart and putting it on the shelf and having a zero balance at the register so you can be available.

It cost Jesus everything for you and me to be free, what will it cost us to see just one other person follow him? Are we being personally effective and making a difference? Or, as my friend Brandi Wilson posted recently, are we only effective by association? Wow.

In Matthew 7 it says we will be recognized by our fruit. Are we counting the cost and bearing healthy luscious fruit or are we allowing our carts to fill up and squash the fruit? What are our priorities?

So here are my questions:
Is your cart full of the things you have asked God for?
Are you effectively counting the cost?
Are you willing to leave those things behind and put them back on the shelf to follow his commands in the uncomfortable places where no one is looking, and where your effectiveness is not based on your church?

Can't wait to read your responses!

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Melody March 9, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

This was a good post for me as I do have an overflowing cart right now and need to consider the cost of some of those things. I think right now my kids might be something I put back on the shelf. Okay, that was a joke. Really it was. But seriously, sometimes I wonder if you should even be allowed to be a pastor's wife and a mother of a toddler at the same time! My three year old was rolling down the pews Sunday night and my panties were in a huge wad by the time I got home. But all kidding aside, this is great food for thought. I also read the post you linked to on effective by association...good stuff there too. These articles are good to echo what we need to be reminded of. I pray I will evaluate these things before the Lord and take action on the things that need to be put back on the shelf.

Sara March 17, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

This post really convicted me, especially the idea of being ready for the cost of what we are asking God for. I'm going to be pondering this for awhile.

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