In HOPE

  In HOPE 5.27                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

I mentioned Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Eerdmans, 2005, 360pp) a few weeks ago. My copy arrived and I'm not disappointed. Peterson's analysis and application of Scripture is "out of the box" and wonderfully enriching. I commend it to you.  

HOPE Happenings

Next Monday night (Halloween), Hope International University hosts "HAPPY HOUSE" - a community event organized around the theme of "Glow in the Dark" based on Jn 8.12 ("I am the light of the world"). Our undergraduate students work diligently to serve the local community with this outreach. They provide booths, rides, arts & crafts, a bounce house, food, candy, and much more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"I do not want to die without having lived." - Thoreau

"Preoccupation with the yesterdays and tomorrows of life to the neglect of the present is not living at all." - Manning   


Eat, Drink, & Be Merry

"Eat, drink, and be merry" is not bad advice.

The phrase comes from a parable Jesus told (see Lk 12.16-21), in which a highly successful farmer utters the words at his retirement party. The farmer is described by God as "a fool", but not because of his existentialist (living for the day) philosophy. He's a fool for a different reason.

Many of us live life in a rush. Our minds are always an hour or three ahead of our bodies - thinking about upcoming meetings, errands, appointments, and demands. We wake up and miss the sunrise because we're planning the day. We walk past our gardens oblivious to the new buds, because we've got somewhere to be soon. We're always running and rushing, hurrying and scurrying.

As leaders, we set our sights on future goals and targets. We evaluate yesterday and plan tomorrow - largely unaware of the dynamics of the present moment. We focus relentlessly on what's ahead. Isn't that what leaders do - cast a vision for a preferred future?

Retirement planning preoccupies us. Vacation plans take over. We day-dream about a promotion or a new position, or what life will be like when the kids leave home. We make resolutions about changes we'll make in the future - changes in weight, fitness, finances, or family time. 

The primary orientation for many of us - if not most of us - is the future. And in the process we violate the time and the place that God has given us right now.

This very moment is both a sacred time and place. Wherever you are right now is sacred - whether it's an office, a kitchen, or a prison. The Presence of God makes it sacred. And this moment is irredeemable. We don't get it back.

Some of us grow anxious at the thought of wasting a moment. Ought we not be doing something significant, meaningful, and of eternal significance? Too much is at stake to make frivolous or casual choices. Guilt pops its heads over the wall and looks disapprovingly at us.

However, I don't add value to this moment. My hard work or serious effort does not make the moment significant. To the contrary, I simply discover the sanctity of the moment that has already been imbued by God.

"Eat, drink, and be merry" is sound advice  - if it's a call to live fully in the present moment, attentive to God and fully enjoying His gifts. Yes, some attention to the future is helpful, though perhaps not as much attention as our culture leads us to believe. Full attention to the present is vital.

Christian spirituality is not about what we did yesterday or plan to do tomorrow, but how we live right now - growing "rich toward God" by looking for Him in every moment. We waste life when we wallow in regret of the past or live in constant planning for the future - even the future of just a few hours from now.

The foolish farmer had the right philosophy, but too late. May we find freedom in it now.

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/