One year at camp I heard a pastor share a version of the Ten Commandments stated positively. Instead of saying Thou Shalt Not, this rendition of the original top-Ten list spun God’s commands in such a way that discipline-averse folks might embrace them.
I didn’t write them down. I haven’t been able to find them worded quite the way they were spoken that year at camp. But one of them – the positive interpretation of Thou Shalt Not Covet – burned itself onto my heart around the campfire and continues to send sparks flying each time my green-eyed monster rears its greedy little head:
Want what you’ve got.
The season of Lent has begun on this day with ashes from last year’s Palm Sunday fingerpainted on my forehead; the shape of a cross barely visible in the dark & oily mess as I lean into the mirror for a closer look. My first inclination is to grab a tissue and wipe it off – it’s as if I’ve got a billboard on my face that reads “this is as good as it gets, people.” Dust, dirt, sin, grease. On display for everyone to see.
I want to wipe it off!
I want to fit in when I walk into Safeway for a gallon of milk on the way home.
I want to look normal to the majority of people who didn’t go to church today.
I want to like what I see when I look in the mirror, or in my refrigerator, or at my checkbook, or closet, or scale, or when I look into the eyes of my loved ones at home.
Truth be told – I want a lot of things. I spend an enormous amount of time, energy and resources on acquiring those things. But then what?
When today’s purchases are hanging in the closet, lined up on the pantry shelves or plugged in beside my bed – then what?
Honestly? I want more.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to want what you’ve got? I have.
Today I can’t help but wonder how my life might be different if I were brave enough to believe God when He says:
“Just think – you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.” I Corinthians 1:7-9 (the Message)
A spiritual adventure beckons today for those of us who feel the Father’s heartbeat in our chests, though all we can see in these mirrors of ours is an ashy, oily smudge where the glory of God ought to be.
What if, for the next 40 days, we were to climb out of and into our bedcovers with this positive commandment in front of us all day long… Want What You’ve Got.
What if, between now and Easter Sunday, we were to choose what we already have over the temptation to buy more, take more, spend more?
And what if, while wanting what we’ve already got, we were to discover that God has given us everything we need?
How might we be different? How might we be changed?
How about we find out… together!
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