Monday, October 10, 2016

Attachments included. . .

Have you ever noticed how many pieces you have left over when you put something together?  Have you ever felt the fear of reading the words "attachments included" when you opened up a package?  Have you ever felt that sinking feeling when you downloaded an attachment to an email from an unfamiliar sender? Attachments can be great.  They can also be a nightmare.  Let me rephrase that.  Most of the time they are a nightmare. 

I have a bucket of things in my garage -- I have no clue what they are, what they are for, or what to do with them.  They came as attachments to various stuff.  I dare not throw them away because I just might need them someday.  Someday my kids will come across this bucket, scratch their heads and laugh as they toss it out.  And the next day they will desperately need some widget from the bucket.

Life is filled with attachments.  Some of them are great.  Marriage, family, friendships, neighborhood, work, leisure -- these are all attachments to our lives and most of them are great most of the time.  But sometimes they are just a pain.  They take from us (even more than we expected).  When the pastor pronounces you husband and wife it seems grand and easy and then one day when things are not grand or easy you wonder if you made the right choice.  It is a great moment when they lay that little baby in your arms for the first time and then there are days when you wondered why in your right might did you ever want to be a parent.  Usually what changes how we feel about attachments is how much they take from us vs how much they return.

The attachments of the world always take -- even when they seem to give.  Remember the old movie about home-ownership?  The Money Pit.  You have that right.  I seem to spend more time at the home center than I do at home.  When that first paycheck was placed in your hand, you thought you were on top of the world.  Now the dollars fly out of your pocket to bills you never dreamed you would have. 

When Jesus said "God or mammon" He was not trying to rain on our parade but to awaken within us that all attachments are not the same.  The attachments of the world take.  The attachment of the Kingdom of God is the only one that gives.  One creates anxiety and one exudes comfort and peace.  One is filled with the fear of losing it and the other bestows the confidence of owning what you have only because it was freely given.

At the heart of stewardship is some fear.  You cannot avoid it.  Worldly things and worldly attachments are filled with fear.  The answer is not to reason your way out of it.  The answer is faith.  We trust what we do not see more than what we do see.  We have more confidence in that which we cannot earn or possess than the things God has freely given by grace, through faith.  Money is never the source of the problem.  It is merely a symptom.  Faith is the problem.  We want to believe but we are conditioned to believe that attachments take more than they return.  And it would be true. . . except for the things of God.  So the daily struggle to believe in spite of our unbelief. . .

Worldly attachments are not always bad but they always have a cost.  Only that which God freely gives in Christ who paid for them are free.  God or mammon. . . it is not a threat but a dose of honestly almost too much for us to handle.  Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief. . .

No comments: