This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing. [Matthew 10:41-42, The Message]
Am I the only one who has a little put-down voice inside? Of course, back in the day (BC), that voice had a heyday on others, but the tables have turned and I’m getting my due: the voice is putting me down relentlessly. No matter what I do or say, the voice is busy. Either I am too late, too early, too fat, too loud, too predictable, too repetitive, too sharp, too flat, too comical, too serious and on and on and on. Oh, she’s a busy little voice.
And when it comes to giving (whether it’s my time, money, or energy), it’s never enough (or lately, too much). When Mike and I switched back to tithing in late Fall, the voice choked for a bit, but then she started nitpicking at me (particularly after Mike died): what about that reimbursement check for mileage, did you tithe on that? And what about that dinner your brother bought you, did you tithe on that? What about Mike’s retirement checks or his sick leave or his annual leave? Pick, pick, pick.
Every time I volunteer for a task or good cause, the voice complains about the time I’m wasting, what kind of volunteer watches “Law and Order” instead of serving? Or, look at so and so, now that’s a committed person. If someone needs a meal, the voice mocks me, “I hope you’re not making that stupid casserole again.” If I am out several nights of the week, volunteering or working, the voice asks me about my priorities. Sigh.
It’s a lose-lose with that voice.
- I’m not alone with this problem.
- God appreciates every gift given from the heart, both great and small.
I need to focus on the other Presence, right? I declare right now, I’m giving the Holy Spirit full authority over that other voice. Put a dome over her!
Take my mustard seed, Lord, and make it a tree. Take my small gift and use it for good.