A couple of weeks ago, my counterpart at another church in town and I needed to head to LaCrosse some some important business. We are both a huge deal, so we needed to get some stuff done out of town. Anyway, just before we left, I threw my skis in the car. I was given a pair of skis and bindings a few years ago, but had never purchased boots. Since we had a little bit of time while up in LaCrosse, I figured that could be on the agenda. After a meeting with the LaCrosse Area Bishop (yea....no joke) we preceded to stop at a few ski shops.
I should also mention that ski boots, while it appears as though they shouldn't be overly expensive, can be. I will admit I had a bit of sticker shock when i started looking at the prices. However, one of the shops that I went into offered me a free..that's right...FREE pair of ski socks if I bought a pair of boots. Seriously, how could I resist? Did I mention they were free???? I felt like I had just won the lotto...no...it was like when my eldest son Luke was born. Yea, it was that awesome.
For some reason, my wife did not realize what a great deal free socks was...were...was. Umm...my wife did not realize how great it was I got a free pair of socks with my boots.
At any rate, I was able to go home, free socks in hand. If I had a mantle, I would actually hang my socks above it. Not during the summer, that wouldn't make sense, but maybe in the winter.
Moving on, since I was not all set with boots, skis, and FREE socks, I was pumped to actually use them. Hence, that next week the family went skiing. We also went the next weekend. In part, this was because skiing is something we all enjoy doing. The other reason was I had just spent too much money on boots and felt as if I had to use them. It honestly would have been pretty silly for me to buy the boots, then not use them. I had a certain amount of buy-in with the boots.
I take my job fairly personally. I have a hard time separating myself to things happening at the church. When I go home at night, I don't leave my job behind. When things are going well with a student, it is awesome. When I see a kid struggling, it stays with me. I have a certain amount of buy in in the ministry that I do. When I begin a relationship with a Sunday School student, parent, or young adult, I begin to care about how their life is going to go. I begin to care if they are struggling with issues, and I rejoice with them when I see them have ah-ha moments or see them succeed in some other capacity. The more time I spend with students, the more I care, the more I want to do to see them grow in a relationship with God, and help them live it out. When that works, it is great. When it doesn't, it really sucks.
We are not promised that things are going to be easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure Jesus mostly talks about how difficult things are going to be when we choose to follow him. You see, when we choose to follow, not just believe, we have more buy in with the world and people around us. Suddenly, it starts to matter more about how our friends and neighbors ware doing. Now, while we are not promised awesome socks, we are promised that we will not be alone in our journey. There is a cost that comes with buying in when it comes to following Christ. We don't know what the fruit is going to be, but when we do buy in, we want to do more, we want to serve more, we want to help others grow in their faith.
So, as I sit here at Magpie, I am asking myself, how can I invest more into my faith life. How can I personally grow in my own faith journey, knowing full well that when I do, I will feel compelled to do more. To care for others more. I invite you to do the same.
A few quick side notes....
- I had a J-term intern. She was fantastic....I'll blog about it at some point.
- Now that football season is over with, I am starting to get over the fact that my fantasy teams and Vikings were all equally terrible.
- I am usually at least slightly optimistic about the baseball season. I'm having a hard time finding any type of hope with the Twins this year.
- I went to 2 partial day continuing ed events in the cities. One about boys and church, the other about why we need to do a good job ministering to youth. Both were great. They are on my list of things to blog about.
- Whenever I watch on of those videos about soldiers coming home...whether real or not, I will admit I tear up. This video does the same thing for me.