boxes, tipping, and giving ...

It is a beautiful day outside, and I cannot help but think of how great it would be to be sitting on the deck of a sailboat writing this post.  Perhaps one day.  We are settling into new routines around our house, to include the two youngest playing soccer.  They seemed hungrier at dinner last night.  Gracie gave her first deep southern accented quip (that I've heard) when she rolled off something about "Barney Fiiiiife" of Mayberry last night.  These kids give so many opportunities to smile.  Three thoughts, as has become customary:

1.  I am reading through Breakfast with Bonhoeffer by Jon Walker right now.  He opens with a tale of "Zillow dreams," and his own family's dashed dreams of homeownership.  There is a duality to homeownership for sure.  If I remember little else from Walden, I was completely sold on Thoreau's description of the home as little more than a large box.  Could be nothing more than a box used for the storage of tools, similar to one he observed near a rail line.  In all reality, the home is at its most basic, mere physical protection from the elements.  And yet it is so much more.  There is a quiet confidence and peace that comes with the stable home.  There are memories, smells, and stories that float delicately in the spaces between rooms, floors, and windows.  And yet, Walker and Bonhoeffer remind us that all too often we are perhaps a little too worried about living a life that looks like we think it should.  Walker writes, "Am I willing to serve Jesus, but only as long as my kids [or wife, or husband, or I!] can live a normal life as defined by the American dream."  For many who have suffered in the new economic realities, this has meant grappling with challenges to homeownership.  I spoke with a woman today who was married just shy of (50) years before her husband passed last year.  She and her husband served in missions capacities for close to (40) years in Micronesia and Alaska.  I find myself asking whether I am more worried about my comfort or the mission.  I wonder if in losing things we might find great opportunity to find much.

2.  The Lectionary reading from Luke (9:28-36) this week paints the vivid picture of the Transfiguration.  Why is it that our first instinct, as was Peter's, is to put Christ in a box where we can try to pin Him down, control, and understand Him?

3.  Slate published an interesting story today questioning the percentage rate at which we customarily tip, as compared to the rate at which Christians are "tithing," or perhaps more properly stated, giving.  It is interesting to me that we have become more generous with servers than we have with our houses of faith.  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Luke 12:34  This is certainly an uncomfortable question that I avoid at all costs.

Have a great week.  The Peace of Christ be with you.

Ryan


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