In the last twenty-four hours I have been reflecting on how grateful I am that our house isn’t used quite so much for church events as it used to be.
In this run up to Christmas we have had musicians traipsing mud through our house on route to our little practice studio at the bottom of the garden followed by leaders, on route to a planning meeting the next day, doing the same thing.
Not long after the leaders left, I walked downstairs from my office (where I was busy writing) to get myself a hot drink. Well, I was soon on my hands and knees, wiping down the muddy kitchen floor tiles – for the second time! Of course, I was lamenting the fact that I had to clean up after them, which was wasting valuable writing time, as I did so.
Then God, rather wryly I thought, reminded me that, over breakfast this morning, we had been talking to our kids about how everything we have is owned by God and so we can be generous with it. We explained that we can only afford everything – from our house right down to Christmas presents – due to the generosity of those in our church, as they pay my husband’s wages!
And here I was, just a few hours later, responding grumpily to a bit of mud, annoyed that my day had been interrupted by others’ thoughtlessness (as I viewed it). Oh dear. I was suitably chastened, and decided to allow my thoughts to settle on this theme. I started thinking about how I respond whenever I have an unexpected interruption to my day. Is my gut response generosity – or annoyance?
Now I know that many of us have to fight to carve out precious writing time but if we believe that our time, as well as our talent, is owned by God, how do we react if He has other ideas about what He wants us to do with that time? If a friend has an unexpected emergency that they need our help with? If there is someone He puts on our hearts that He wants us to reach out to, even though it is ‘inconvenient’ to us?
As we approach Christmas, let’s think about how ‘inconvenient’ it must have been for Jesus to come in the form of a helpless baby, and yet He was willing to do it in order that we could experience the gift of salvation.
Perhaps He simply wants to affirm how you are revealing Him through your writing – or maybe He does want to challenge how you view your time and talent. Do you acknowledge that they are owned by God, and are you as generous with them as you could be?
Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on authenticity, marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Into Managing Conflict and Insight Into Self-acceptance, Cover to Cover: David A man after God’s own heart and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today as well as Bible study notes, and her next co-written book, Insight Into Burnout, is due out in 2017. She is also working on her own book Taking off the mask: learning to live authentically. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.