No, this is not turning into a blog about religion.
Bear with me. I suspect you may understand my dilemma.
Here’s a quote from the Bible. According to Saint Matthew, Jesus spoke these words:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21)
The Reverend Bill Cook shared these verses in his “Beginning Lent” post – in his “Faith and Conversation” blog. The blog is well named. His posts are a conversation. They provide a sense of being fed. Or, better yet, since he’s an ordained shepherd, his posts give me a sense of being led.
What’s the difference between being fed and being led?
As a child attending the Anglican Church with my mother, I heard directions, rules, commandments, warnings and recommendations from every sermon. I was well fed. Throughout them all, however, and well into adulthood, I would look for one question to be answered: How? I wanted to be led.
Keep the language. Keep the original tone. Keep the intent. But give me an example of “how”. How do I find this treasure – today? How can I store treasures in heaven – today? How will I know my heart is in that treasure?
I just re-read Rev. Bill’s post. After years of listening as diligently as I could to thousands of sermons about Lent, Rev. Bill just answered “how”. He gave the most precious gift – a suggestion for living. Typical of what I deeply believe Jesus meant his messages to be, Bill states “how” simply:
Lent is a season in which we are invited to get real with ourselves; to check and evaluate what we are invested in, what we are devoted to, what we have taken into our hands. Are we taking more care of people and relationships than things? In the middle of all of our concerns, are we treasuring our relationship with God, who is the source of life and all that is good?
Fed and Led. Does it get any clearer than that?
Thank you, Rev. Bill.
In the middle of all of our concerns, are we treasuring our relationship with God, who is the source of life and all that is good?
I really, really like that question. In the midst of the storm are we treasuring that relationship. Easy peasy during grand times. Notsomuch when I’m feeling like my back is against the wall and I’m shaking an angry fist at the Big Guy.
Don’t get me wrong–I get there. Quicker than I’ve ever gotten there–but I still have that ‘moment’, even if it’s in thought and not into action.
I like the ‘inventory’ as it’s written. Clean and neat–a good focus point for a good house cleaning and re-setting of priorities.
I’m about people. The calendar and the checkbook kinda make that clear. LOL I’m also about Toys-R-Us apparently.
I’ll blame the wee child in my life who says “Lub you, Nana!”
I’m almost thinkin’ she KNOWS that’s Toys-R-Us material. LOL
My expenses say that the pet eats well (special diet) and it’s too bad I need a car. However, the car gets me around so I can do my “people” stuff. I sure am glad that Bill writes a blog. I really appreciate his spiritual contribution.
A good lesson, thanks Rev Bill 🙂
I agree! Thanks, Cindy.
Hi Amy .. wise man – care for others, care for ourselves and spend time with God before ‘things’ .. essential to a peaceful, happy life .. thank you .. Hilary
Like the way you care for, and support, your mom, Hilary!
wonderful entry, and I certainly agree- there is a huge lack of “how to” teaching in the church… Today people are over-fed, but few lives in what they hear… Leaders that lead and not only feed is desperately needed.
May God bless your day and heart with love and peace, strength and joy!
It’s my observation that clergy who dare to lead are ducking darts from all the “aginners” – and there are so many factions ready to criticize that they discourage the souls who genuinely want to support. I have great compassion for clergy. Thank you for your blessing
Amy, I loved Rev. Bill’s explaination. What better way to start your day than with Him who sustains us thru everything, if you allow Him into your heart. Love one another as I have loved you. Such a simple rule. The problems come as a result of our being human and this free will that he gave us. We disappoint each other and get disappointed ourselves. There are no perfect beings, we can only strive to be better each day, so that we can try to live up to the fact that we were created in the image of Jesus. It is definitely a long journey.
Thanks, Dee. We certainly can all strive for a bit of progress. Shooting for perfection is a sure fired route to disappointment. Happy Lent!
Fed and Led… I never thought about that before. But I see it. As a child you are fed the basics… as an adult you need to be led on how to use those tools.
That is one very profound insight, HisBell!
I love your post Aimee. Fed and led – i think that’s why the world of coaching has taken hold and why certain blogs are appealing to us. They lead us with practical advice on how to be a better person or build better karma or whatever one believes. I will check out Bill’s blog.
I agree, Tammy…folks really seem to be wanting direction. I only hope their search takes them to quality direction – on whatever path serves them best.
Bravo, Amy. I loved that post too and deeply appreciate Bill.
I found him through your blog – so thanks, Jamie.
An invitation to “get real with ourselves”. That speaks volumes. Profound.
Yes, Leslie – it does speak volumes. A lot of volumes at times.
Sound words and inspiration indeed. Thanks for this.
Most welcome, Timkeen. Thanks for comments.
Hi My Friend…a really good lesson there!
Hi Granny – How is it that the older we get, the more we realize we know so little. I’ll still be learning when I hear my last heart beat.
I actually have an idea that treasures anywhere is wrong.
Treasure distracts us.
Aha – interesting take, Richard. It got Long John Silver into a bit of a bind. 🙂
Hi Amy — it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Loved this post — it speaks to where I am at the moment — I am in no way ‘religious’, but I do believe myself to be spiritual — and I appreciate the honest simplicity of your friend, Rev. Bill’s message. Thank you.
Hi Kath. Good to hear from you again. I agree, honest simplicity makes a great message and especially when it includes a direction from a place that is identifiable in our lives.
Beautifully said, Amy & Rev. Bill – and thank you for including that wonderful verse. I love the line “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – so worthy of holding in awareness.
Great message, you seem to just pick up on the best for us to read Amy! A religious festivity is just another way to gently remind ourselves to be good and do good.. and that is what it was intended it be.. Nice 🙂
My dear Rachana…did I miss a thank you to you? I notice that Face Book friends in Kerala are attending endless numbers of festivals. I’m suspicious there is no time to be naughty! 🙂