- - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: Scattered minds, hungry hearts

The dishwasher is broken again. Your to-do list is growing. The bills need to be paid, the kids need this and that, your work deadline is fast approaching and you’re in need of a good night’s sleep. Life is a constant battle for your attention.

There just doesn’t seem to be enough time, energy, money, focus. And it’s a vicious cycle. When you can’t recharge your batteries, you move slower, and items on your to-do list pile up faster.

You lose sight of God. You know He is there — somewhere — waiting, but everything is swirling around you and when you reach for Him, you come up empty. Even when you pull out your Bible, the words seem flat and you can’t bring yourself to focus. It would be easier if He would just make everything stop and come meet you where you are. If only He would reveal himself.

Or perhaps it’s your children who are discontented. For the heart of a parent, that can be much worse. You want to provide, to fix, but their hunger runs much deeper than you are able to feed with meals, words or gifts. They don’t know how to find peace for themselves. You wonder why won’t God reveal himself.

But He has.

Somehow, we need to teach our children — and to learn for ourselves — how to find God in the midst of our daily battles.

How to save your family: Gather the crumbs

We don’t need to be given more. We need to receive more of what we’ve already been given.

As author Ann Voskamp points out in her wonderful book, “1,000 Gifts,” the Bible is full of lessons that teach us how to realize all that we need in Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew, for instance, recounts the story of Jesus miraculously feeding more than 5,000 people with only a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. Ann Voskamp points out that after the disciples had gathered what food they could from the crowd, the first thing Jesus did was give thanks. Before there was enough to go around, Jesus looked up to heaven and gave thanks for what already had been already provided.

Try to imagine that scene. The disciples must have been embarrassed when Jesus stood up with the measly loaves and fish and started acting as if they would satisfy the needs of 5,000. He must have known there wasn’t enough. Why did He give thanks to God as if He actually had anything to offer to the hungry crowd?

Then He broke the bread gave it away. And He broke it and gave it away. And He kept breaking and giving until all ate and were satisfied. And the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Somewhere in the thanksgiving and the breaking of the bread, a miracle took place.

Story Continues →