Daily Journal—September 8 2009
Between traveling for seminars and the long weekend, I've made coffee 5 days in a row at home, and not in my study here at church. Why does that matter? At home, I have a little 4-cup capacity Mr Coffee. It's great, because that's how much coffee I drink. Please keep in mind that a 4-cup capacity Mr Coffee makes no more than 24 ounces, and really more like 20 ounces. I can fill a mug up, when it's half-empty, fill it back to the top. That's my daily coffee amount.
Anyway, back on track. My Mr Coffee here at church is an 8-cup capacity. It makes twice as much as my home brewer. Why do I have a big one here? In the off chance that I have a meeting with someone who likes coffee. I usually don't. So, this morning I put the coffee grounds in the filter, and looked at it. It looked like so little coffee compared to what I've been using. Here's the deal: the office brewer basket is more than twice the size of the home one. It's the same amount of ground beans. It's the receptacle that's different.
Now, at the risk of over-spiritualizing my morning coffee (Cameron's Caramel Cream, by the way), how many ways are we like this? Do we judge someone else's relationship with Christ in comparison with our own? Have we stopped to consider that maybe they've got a bigger basket than we do?
The other thought was this one: sometimes we think that we are really and truly full. That we've got all kinds of greatness within us. After all, our skills and abilities, our faith and commitment, when compared to the present surroundings, are tremendous! We've got all we can stand, and probably have a little more than is necessary.
But what happens when our surroundings change? The same God is God whether in Monticello or Moscow, in Arkansas and Arabia, in church and at work, in your quiet Bible reflections and your marriage. Don't make the assumption that since you can handle one, that since when you do one, it goes nice and smoothly, that you're automatically prepared for the larger. God can handle it, but have you grown to the point that you trust Him to do it? A quick tip: however you practice in the little things of life will be how you perform in the big things. Practice trusting in God in small things, and the big things will work out. You see, you're not supposed to fill your surroundings. God does that. Do you recognize Him?
And then there's this thought: with your church exactly as it is, your efforts may be just fine. True, it's not stellar. And you really intend to read your Sunday School lesson before you teach it. Yes, you want to be on-time, you want to be faithful, but it's just so hard. Are you limiting your effectiveness? Do you realize that the effort that's enough to maintain is nowhere near the effort it will take to get where God wants you to go? That if you aren't striving now, there's not much chance you'll strive then, and so God will bring up someone else that can be trusted. This is why you see some churches blessed, and others not. Why some lives seem to constantly be used by God, and some don't. Be faithful now. And when the big pot comes, you'll be useful then too.