Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23
Col 3:1-5, 9-11
Fishing for the Right Barn
I listened to the readings from Sunday, August 5th differently, especially the gospel from the 12th chapter in the writer Luke. In this gospel Jesus warns about storing up one’s wealth. He talks about the rich man who has a wonderful harvest. Rather than share that abundance, the man decides to tear down the barn that he has and build a much bigger one. That night he dies and all of his saved wealth does him no good.
In the past I have listened to these words from a comfortable place of having all that I needed. I would then think about my philanthropic giving to see if I was building barns instead of giving to others in greater need. It was a good inner conversation to do a review of my charitable giving.
This year I listened to the words as a person who was recently and unexpectedly laid off from my job. My inner conversation went something like this. “Well, no worry about building an extra barn…at least that is one thing I don’t have to worry about. But how do I move forward in this challenge and opportunity in a way that allows God to be the driver of this search for meaningful employment?
How do I continue my search when I have been out in the boat all night long and caught nothing? Why should I believe the person at the shoreline who says, hey put your line over here and where exactly is ‘over here?’
What is my connection with the man who built a new barn? Perhaps we aren’t too different in the end…. I am trying to trust God that the right job is coming and to have enough trust not to race to any job whether it is the one for me or not. Most everyone is worried about me, wanting me from a place of love to once again have the semblance of financial security and good health care. To tell you the truth both of those things sound good to me, too.
However, what do I do with this heart felt place where I believe God is working? My heart place tries to convince me that our God who works in mysterious ways will put before me a job this is doing what is my best way to make known the kingdom. I am not talking about ignoring or refusing temporary work, I am talking about the man at the lake front who has told me where to put my net, after fishing all night long without any results….
I have to say, I can really connect to the man who wanted to build that bigger barn after all. Both of us are struggling with a God who can be trusted to provide all that we need.
As this week unfolds let each of us be open to the ways in which our sense of a God of abundance is challenged by a world that tells us there is not enough, please build a bigger barn. In those moments, may we dare to ask God to grace each of us with the trust to believe that we really can put our net into the waters, and have it turn out the best fishing yet.