Monday, February 13, 2017

Travel Pants

I like travel pants. Wear them all the time. I love the pockets. I have a travel vest that has, this is no exaggeration, 24 pockets. When Denise and I went to Italy last year, my vest was my carry-on luggage. I have traveled to a missions conference before, and I had my change of clothes, my 19" MacBook, and my iPad all in my vest. No luggage, no carry-on, just my travel pants and my travel vest.

The pants have pickpocket proof pockets with double latching. There is a pocket that is passport size with a velcro flap. In the thighs there are actually hidden pockets that blend right in where you can extra cash and even if you are robbed no one will know you have it. Of course you can do what you want with the pockets, but they come with a pocket guide that tells you where things are designed to be put that way you don't even have to try to figure it out yourself.

Travel pants are a cool way to travel. Unfortunately, they are also the model for how we try to live our lives. In a word: Compartmentalize.

We compartmentalize everything. We even try to draw charts and make little fun acronyms like J.O.Y., Jesus, Others, Yourself. We try to arrange our time around work and family.

We do our church thing on Sunday.
We do our work thing Monday - Friday.
We do our family thing some evenings and Saturday.

We have these nice little pockets that have been labeled for us to put things in. Our God-pocket is in a hard to reach spot since we don't need it very much. Our politics pocket is the quickest draw, easiest to access one since we use it all the time. Our work pocket is the big pocket so a lot of stuff can be crammed into it. Our family pocket is the one over our heart. It is small and not used, but we like to think it is more important than the other pocket, with the exception of course of the small little pickpocket proof God pocket.

The problem is, this doesn't work. Life is not a travel jacket. God is too big for our small box (pocket). Saying that your family is important is nothing like actually showing that your family is important by.....doing something really weird like....being with them and enjoying it.

Life is holistic. You cannot be a follower of Christ on Sunday, a follower of money the rest of the week while being an evangelist for your political party and giving your children a gentle nod of attention for an hour. Either you are a follower of Christ EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, or you are not ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.

Jesus is not a part-time God.

Either your family is important to you in this moment...or they are not.

Let me give you an illustration I used at church one time. I had a dish box with the divider inside so that there were 24 compartments. Each compartment had a label. I then took out the divider to make it one big the label is:

God and my worship.
God and my wife.
God and my children.
God and my friends.
God and my church.
God and my money.
God and my career.
God and my entertainment.
God and my time.
God and my personal development.
God and my evangelism.
God and my discipleship.
God and my politics.

God doesn't fit into your little travel pants. He doesn't fit into your little box. He doesn't allow people to compartmentalize Him.

He is to be your life. You don't balance your life giving Him part of it. You balance your life by letting Him be the center of it and everything else is a spoke branching off of the center. If God is not the center, then you life is not in balance.

Just a thought.