Lenox, the Quail, and My Kingdom


When I pay a moving truck to bring some furniture from Grandma’s house to mine, I will have three china cabinets full of dishes. I feel sick. Do you know how much I love dishes? Their clank, their washing, their way of displaying and being displayed? Even dishes that have pink on them, I collect. I pick them up and look at them. 
I feel sick – guilty sick – like an alcoholic with a bottle of gin under the bed. 
And then there is Alabama and my southern accent; there are my skinny jeans and my pearls; there are my blog entries and poetry; there are my children and my house: my identity. 
And then there is Matthew Ch. 6 and its explicit instruction. (This is the point that I want to ask Melody if we could please study something different, anything other than humility. I’m not mad anymore at the rich young ruler for wanting Jesus to tell him some other way. I rather identify.)
We’ve already established that humility is just being honest. Jesus in Matt. 6 is telling listeners to just be honest about who they are serving. If you are acting out your righteousness to be seen by others or tooting a horn before you give gifts, then you have received your reward in full. I felt corrected to seek God’s glory and not my own. 

Don’t pray or give for attention. Got it, Lord! (check)

vv. 19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth […] but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven […] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I’ve read that 4000 times. But this time my thoughts screamed: Treasures on earth are for the eyes of man! 

He goes on tho say that “no one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Despise wealth. Lord? (no check) crickets chirp…

I had been trying to go for balance, but balance doesn’t seem an option in this passage when it comes to love and devotion. I do not think he’s saying to not have $ or save $ or enjoy nice things at all, but have I mentioned to you that I love dishes? I have a consuming love for decoration. See my previous post for an example. And I love make-up, too, and lotions and shoes and granite. LOVE! I love to build my kingdom.

We are all busy kingdom builders, and again, worry seems to accompany this pride. Worry is the red flag waving over Queen Amber’s castle. But I have nothing to wear. My walls are bare. I hope no one looks in the laundry room. Can we afford to buy the steak? What dishes will I use? What if my skin looks dry? Don’t the boys need to play ball to fit in? (This is so embarrassing.)

But humility is dressed like a lily and concerns itself with food service as little as the sparrow does.

Humility has a focused goal: one concern. It is not a passive, ugly, and starving lolli-gag about life. Humility seeks FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness (not even to prove myself right but to prove Him right.) Humility looks forward to a great, inviting Dining Room and expects plenty. 
So, I try to spit out all this quail and realize I’m swimming in it, in quail and kids and lawyer-speak. If I cease striving for it all, He will not let me drown. Now believe.

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amberhaines
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2 Comments

Christa
Reply March 25, 2008

Thanks for posting this, oh how can I relate. We are all busy kingdom builders...Lord help me to invest in building your kingdom rather than mine. Help me desire you more than this. I have been struggling so much lately with all the many things that distract me from God. I am blown away at how much I push Him away and serve myself. I asked to see Him more and as He draws me near I am getting blinded by my sin...sin I did not know was there and it hurts to see it, but I know He is showing me, He is changing me. Sounds like He is changing you too! Thanks for the honesty.

Kara
Reply March 25, 2008

agreed. i think we can all relate. thank you Jesus for not letting us drown...thank You for giving us what YOU know we can handle...thank You for humbling us and loving us....thank you amber...

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