Working on our personal tax return, I search for every deduction or credit, no matter how small, because I don’t like paying huge amounts of money to a bloated government. However, all the while running in the back of my mind is: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Either government or God. Where’s my share?
I remember as a little girl singing, “All things come of thee Oh Lord, and of thine own we have given thee,” as the offering was presented. My life and everything in it belongs to God. I’ve always given it mental assent.
But as I go over our expenses, working to wring more life out of last year’s receipts, I don’t see much of God’s hand print there.
Is it my vision? Or is it my lifestyle?
My bloated lifestyle?
In spite of really trying to simplify and pare things down, we still have way too much. Stuff that gets in the way. Stuff that needs care or repair. Stuff that clutters my mind and takes up my time.
I want to pat myself on the back because we don’t carry debt on our stuff. Because we give plenty to charity. (Besides the regular gifts, don’t I juggle all the requests in the mail every month, looking for the most impact for our funds?) But there are so many needs around me and throughout the world. So many hurting people. Too many ways I could help.
But what about balance? Isn’t it a good thing to have a peaceful home to welcome friends and family? A retreat from a world that gets crazier every day? Have the inner peace to renew and write, then go back out and do my part?
The truth is, I want to be free to wake each morning only saying, “What’s next Papa?” How can I receive the day from His hand when my to-do list is already too long?
I recognize a deeper core of my yearning.
“The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within.” Romans 8:22-23 MSG
Yearning for eternity. And for a life totally surrendered unto God.
Can you feel it?