Thursday, February 10, 2011

Two by Two

“He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two…He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” Mark 6: 7a, 8

There’s a lot of things we think we need to get by in this life, isn’t there? We have so much stuff and I’m not sure we know the difference between what we need and what we want. Just think about all the things we don’t think we could live without that 10-15 years ago hardly any of us possessed, let alone thought we’d need someday: iPods, cell phones, lap tops, PDA’s, texting, GPS systems, etc. 

We have ourselves convinced that we need lots of money, the big house with the perfect yard and the three-car garage for all of our nice rides. I think young people are sure they need fancy cell phones, lap tops, after school jobs and the latest fashions to make it. And so we continue to wander the malls, mindlessly buying more and more while never quite throwing or giving away as much as we purchase. Why do we do this?

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: what is our mission? Because I think if we truly know what we are trying to accomplish in life and where we are trying to go, then it will impact what we need to complete that mission. For instance, if our mission in life is to simply go through each day and have as much fun as possible and to be as comfortable as possible, then having all the latest electronic toys and gadgets and lots of money and things is probably high on the needs list. But if our mission is to get to heaven and to take as many people with us as possible, then I’m not so sure we need a whole lot of what we have right now.

When Jesus sent the Twelve on their mission, all He gave them was a walking stick and a friend. That’s all they needed. Now obviously you and I live in a much different world and we certainly do need more than that. But how much more? I think Jesus made it pretty clear that the most important thing we need on this journey to complete our mission is each other. Are we investing more time and effort and money into things for ourselves, or are we investing more time and effort into one another: supporting one another, challenging one another, holding one another accountable, loving one another until it hurts, being patient with one another, putting one another first? I think this is what Jesus wants us to invest in if we are going about His mission. And keep in mind that the walking stick was a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.  Let’s remember this when purchasing things we think we need.

Your Wii is not going to hold your hand when you are feeling down. Your iPhone is not going to hold you accountable to live the Gospel message. And your lap top is not going to challenge you to follow Christ more passionately. Only a true brother or sister in Christ can do these things. If you have some of these, then praise God and invest more time in your relationship with them. If you don’t, then get on your knees each day and pray for God to introduce you to a Godly friend soon—and He will.

Dear Jesus, I want my mission to be getting to heaven and bringing as many others with me as I can through Your grace. Help me to invest more in my relationships with friends that will encourage, support, challenge and hold me accountable in this mission. Amen.

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