Monday, May 10, 2010

833 - Enhancements and Hair Plugs??!!!??!?!?!

Have you ever felt like you were just inches away from your dream? What about just a breath from that perfect vacation? How about just seconds from getting that promotion – whatever that may be to you? As I am sitting in economy zone of this airplane and only 2 rows from first class, I feel like what I have described above.

I can see the comfort of their big seats and the extent of their recline! I can smell their delicacies while I munch on my less than a serving of lightly salted peanuts. I can hear the lovely chatter of their important conversations. I can even see their movie through the dividing curtain if I tilt my head and stretch my neck ever so strainingly.

I am almost in first class. I can almost take part in those important conversations and can almost taste their all-you-can-eat foods. I mean, heck, I am watching their movie for free even though my neck may break off. I have almost arrived, but still no cigar!!

Do you ever feel that way? You want so badly to have what is on the other side of the fence. I have been there many times. I am sure you are thinking I am going to go down the road of being content with what you have or not wishing for that which God did not intend for you to have, etc… But no!

Today my intent is just to pose some questions that I think about often.

How do you deal with blessings? How do you deal with “even though you can, do you”? How do you deal with being dealt a good hand as some might say? It seems so right for a business executive to be riding high in first class, but can I?

I guess it is a good thing, but I am constantly asking how things look to others in ministry – even if it is none of their business. The years have not been so kind to my body – or at least my infants were not so kind to my body – with me being in ministry how would that be perceived if I got things lifted or sucked out? What about my desire for hair extensions or is it cool for your pastor to have hair implants? You cool with that? Will you like me more if I have on fake nails? What about if my roots are not done – does that distract?

If I am sitting in first class and the person next to me wants to dialogue about where I am going and what I am doing – are they going to think it funny one in ministry is sharing the delicacies of first class? Do I need to explain that I got a free upgrade from a kind friend? – never happened, but would appreciate that kind friend – ha

I am completely dolled up and ready to present God’s message to a group of people – what does my outfit and Coach shoes say to them? Does it have any difference?

Does one in ministry have to live or be perceived to live in poverty? Is this a perception that I have taken on for some reason – possibly cause of others excessiveness in the past? Is it enough to answer each encounter, “God has blessed me so very much.” Does doing without make one “holy-er”?

Are preachers/ministers/speakers, etc. supposed to live in abundance? Do you have a problem with your pastor driving away each day from church in his Mercedes? Jesus offers us life abundantly, but did He mean an abundance of things too.

These are things that are going through my mind. I am trying to find my place that HE has for me in all this. I would definitely say that I do not have it figured out and do not like how I stand in it all right now. We have not one, but 2 beautiful homes – please know we are trying to sell one and would most certainly give you a good deal. I have a closet full and eat out way too much. My husband spoils me rotten and it flows over to the kids. I want a swimming pool and sure I would like to fly in first class some day. Would it matter?

I think those in ministry and those being ministered to would have different perceptions. I think of heroes of the faith like the author of Crazy Love that gives away something like 50% of his earnings. Or how about my Ecuador trip organizer – they just sold everything to downsize and live more modestly, but why – to give more away and be more of a blessing than to be blessed.

As I have traveled the world because of my husband’s company trips going in and out of so many churches, monasteries, and convents of the Catholic Faith I do believe they had something right. Living a life of simplicity and denying oneself of some many things does make an impact! I don’t care how you cut it, but one living simply and in utter humbleness as far as things are concerned is much less likely to be judged and risk the effectiveness of their ministry.

I can hear the critics now – Leigh, it matters what you do with what you have been given. Leigh, don’t worry about what things look like just make sure your heart is pure. Leigh, you live in the US, you must look relevant to make an impact. Leigh, you are concerning yourself with such silly things. Leigh, this may be the way you feel led, but this is your conviction alone. Leigh – butt out! Ha

I don’t know – how do you feel. If you are one in ministry – has this ever crossed your mind? Those of you that are not directly in public ministry – has this ever crossed your mind or have you ever placed a judgment on one ministering because of things you have just seen or heard about them?

How do you deal with your blessings?

How do you come to grips with the hand you have been dealt?

Am I crazy or on to something?

Jesus – what are your thoughts?

“The last will be first and the first will be last.”

“Anyone who loses his life will gain it.”

“I count all lost.”

“Store up treasures in heaven”

“Do everything in moderation”


Mary Cay said...

Much to ponder! Thanks!

Ruth Lightcap said...

This has crossed my mind many times. Being in ministry or a child of ministry parents my whole life we have had to grapple with this issue many times. I remember Dad telling us not to tell people what we got for Christmas because it might be misunderstood, or being criticized because we bought a color TV (we had a 12" black and white, wasn't that good enough). Our conclusion has been that when we receive an extra blessing to be grateful and when we have an abundance we bless others. It is OK to be blessed by God. Someone once blessed me with a first class plane seat and it was wonderful!

Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc said...

Good writing! Yes! Being in ministry I feel we need to explain things if we get a blessing. But it is funny we don't have to explain anything when things are tight as is most of the time since the beginning of this ministry. I guess it keeps us in check, because I have the same thoughts if it looks like a pastor is just a little too successful. The good thing is, that once you give it all up, you are no longer "caught up in it all!" We do live our life believing the Lord Will Provide! And it is a roller coaster ride sometimes!