Not too long ago I saw a post by Kathi Lipp challenging members of her Clutter Free Academy to purge 50 books from their collection. Members of another group she oversees, Red House Writers Collective, wanted the discarded books. Not me. Although I am part of the writers collective, I see the value of the purging exercise.
Especially after spending Memorial Day weekend painting my office. A lot of the work has been pulling books from the bookshelves and boxing them so I could move the furniture away from the walls to paint. My office has an outer room with four bookshelves of varying heights and lengths and two files. A smaller alcove, where my desk is located, was part of an addition completed by a former owner of the house.
I will begin work on my writing nook later in the week with a goal to finish by mid-June. At the start of the project, I thought everything would be completed this weekend. But now the expected completion for the outer office is Wednesday. Paint speckled plastic drop clothes cover the rug and any furniture shoved to the center of the room. I need another can of primer to finish the job, and a roll of painter’s tape.
My calculations on these jobs are never accurate. Halfway through the work the words of Jesus quoted by Luke in chapter 14 of his book usually come to mind.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” ESV
Of course, this Scripture isn’t about home improvement projects but an aspect of Christian discipleship. Our time and resources are not our own, we steward them. One reason such projects take a while is because I am always a disciple of Jesus, therefore my plans may be interrupted.
On Saturday I cleaned up my paint rollers to attend a graveside service for a woman I knew and bake a carrot cake for the church dinner. Sunday, I attended church then did a little work on the office before going to the fellowship dinner that evening.
Monday morning, I went woodcutting with my husband early to help get our supply of firewood for next winter. We need to take advantage of the dates when we can dash out early in the morning for a load because there aren’t many. After painting for a few hours, I took time to move some of the books back to the office in the area where the paint had dried. They were stacked in the living room and we like to be ready to welcome anyone who knocks on our door. Before breaking for dinner, I took a meal over to a friend who wasn’t feeling well.
With dedicated time I might have finished painting the outer office area sooner and even had time to begin work on my writing nook. But the painting is not the priority. Being a good steward of my time and resources to bless and help others comes first for I am a disciple of Jesus. Eventually the office will be completed without encroaching on all the other ministries God presents daily.
1-After reading chapter 14 of the book of Luke what examples would you give as the cost of discipleship?
2-What ways has Jesus called you to use your time and resources to serve Him?