“The reality of heaven doesn’t make earth less real or less important.”
This is the reason that I'm a fan of Jon Fischer's writing. On his blog, The Catch, Connecting life to faith, Fischer manages to challenge and inspire me on a regular basis. I'd encourage you to read the entire post from which this quote was taken, here. You and I have just a few short years on this earth and I sometimes wonder how many of those years are wasted on things that don't really matter? Playing games with your kids, walking on the beach with your spouse, and reading a good book are not the things that I consider wasteful. Working is not wasteful, either. What I think is wasteful is the relentless pursuit of acquiring stuff.
We assume that Jesus, like his earthly father, worked as a carpenter but he didn't stop there. When he began his ministry, he poured himself into others. I think that what Fischer is talking about here when he talks about the reality and importance of earth. Not to minimize the importance of being good stewards of the planet, "keepers of the garden," if you will, but I think the reality and importance of the earth is really about people. To the extent that providing clean water or eradicating disease is an example of stewardship of the earth, I'm all for it. It's when we focus more attention on things than on people that we get into trouble.
I have a neighbor who struggles to function effectively in society. She's a hoarder. Right now I'm investing in her by giving her a hand with her yard. Her yard, jungle that it is, is not the priority, however. She is the priority, but the way I'm gaining her trust is by beginning with her yard. It's not by chance that she lives just a couple of doors down from me.
- She is part of the reality and importance of my earth, as Fischer says.
- Williame Jacques, the young boy that Julia and I have recently begun sponsoring in Haiti is part of the reality and importance of our earth.
- The orphanage that we support in Mexico is part of the reality and importance of our earth.
- The time I spend with my elderly mother is part of the reality and importance of my earth.
- The breakfast that Julia has each Wednesday with her aging father is part of the reality of her earth.
- The clients that Julia counsels in her practice are part of the reality of her earth.
Who and what are the realities and importance of your earth and into which you are investing yourself?