That is a little dramatic but that is what it felt like. Our plumbing lines backed up into our shower, bathtub, and toilets. It smelt as bad as you think. What also stinks is the the estimate to fix the significant plumbing line issues below our house and into our yard. While I was spending a great deal of time considering how to have a "bigger barn" (house) bigger my current one was almost literally spoiling that plan right below my feet. Crappy situation indeed.
What has been a perfectly timed correlation (read: God helping my hard head absorb a lesson) is what I've been reading and teaching about from Acts of the Apostles in the Bible in my 11th grade Bible class.
"32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
What is fascinating and, if I'm honest, convicting to me is the attitude God's Spirit created amongst the community of The Way in those early days after the church's inauguration at Pentecost.
You and I live in a world of iPhones, iPads, and other iThings. They are personalized things for me. More apps, more books, more music. We amore more things. Things = happy, correct? We each need our own individual item and we will then have arrived. We will then be successful, affluent Americans and we'll have our own 6 cylinder lawnmower to prove it.
Not according to the Acts 4 church. Their hearts and minds were focused on living with less to do more good. In this God's grace was tangible. They asked, "what can we share to free up more blessings?"
Right now my wife is down the road at our neighbors' house. They heard of our plumbing problems and decided to "have all things in common with us" by letting us use their washer until we save enough to fix our pipes. They also have a community garden planted in their backyard to share food. They live in a modest sized homes so that over the last few decades they can do jobs which pay less but bless more.
Today I'm thankful for my Acts 4 neighbors who teach us each day by their actions bigger blessing is better than bigger barns. This is not common. Its not the American dream. But when the people of God began unfolding God's dream it looked a great deal more like my neighbors than my former ambitions.
So, the question for the day: What can you and I give up to give more this holiday season?