Earlier today, I was mowing over two acres on a riding mower and contemplating the return on my time spent shortening grass that very few people will probably see. I even missed a few spots, and debated whether or not I should go back and finish those off, which were down near the ditch that even I would probably not notice. If I was pressed for time, which I normally am, I would likely just leave it and take care of it again in 1-2 weeks. Part of me still felt compelled to do a thorough job despite the fact that nobody besides me will ever know what a spectacular or horrible job I did at the edge of our property. Whether good or bad, I still felt somewhat unappreciated. Even if my kids wandered down there, they may not even notice or care how well their dad mowed the lawn, this week or 10 years from now. So, why even bother…why spend time, energy, and money on something that really doesn’t matter now or anytime down the road? Or does it matter? What are some things do you invest your time and resources into that may not matter in the long run?
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Whether or not the quality of work you do mowing the yard, remodeling a house, or cleaning your bedroom is ever noticed or appreciated may not always matter, but it may be reflected in other areas of your life as well. Do you spend much time investing in others at work, at church, or in the community? Does the time and energy spent on those people, or even you own children matter in the long run? The ultimate return on an investment, besides our faith, is probably what we put in to raising the little people in our homes. I often jokingly say I spend much of my time cleaning up messes my kids make and fixing things my kids break, but that often feels true. When I first notice the trails of destruction left by any of my children, my first reaction may be what punishment I should inflict, or questioning my own sanity for trying to fix things. Despite these concerns, I still want them to learn and grow up to be some sort of responsible adults, though things currently seem far from that reality. We invest huge amounts of time, energy, and money into our offspring with the uncertain hope that things will turn out well in the end. Have you ever considered all that your own parents went through in trying to raise you well? Did they succeed?
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
Just like the parent who keeps putting resources into that spoiled, entitled child, we hope that what we do and say will somehow make a difference in the lives of those we care about. Even if a parent is unappreciated and rejected by their child, most every parent hopes that some day they will come around and return with thanks and love in return. Do you think God sees us this way as well? Do you think he still wants his prodigal children to return to Him as much as He cares for those who are grateful and try to please Him? Like any parent, I would think he also wants our gratitude and acknowledgement for all that He has done for us. Do we ever give Him the credit that He is due? I know I have a tendency to take things for granted or demand more, like any other ungrateful child. But if we all pause a little and take a moment, we can give some acknowledgement and thankfulness in return. We may also share love for being loved, forgive others for being forgiven, and invest in others in return for the investment others have spent on us. Its not a total repayment, but just a drop in the bucket for what was done for us.
Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11
Yours in Christ,