Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daily Office Reflection: Balance?

Psalms (83) or 146, 147 * 85, 86; Isaiah 60:1-17; 1Timothy 2:14-26; Mark 10:17-31

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said....... Here was an individual who kept all the commandments and lived a "good" life according to that time's customs and traditions and yet he still knew something was missing, he thought he was ready for something more. And Jess realizes this and gives him a HUGE challenge: sell all your possessions, give the proceeds to those in need and then you can follow me. Ouch. 

Possessions can take over our lives, they can rule them, "forcing" us to make certain decisions which allow us to: retain those possessions and/or gather more. I love a number of the possessions that I own and would prefer not to give them up. There a bunch of things I want to get (but can't afford to at the present time), such as: a rug for my bedroom, new golf clubs, a fun/funky entry hall table I saw, a new car, painting supplies. Do I need any of these? No. Do I want them? YES. Have I made decisions in the past, sacrificing a better usage of my money to buy something I wanted and didn't really need? Yes.

Jesus is challenging the wealthy individual today to re-think the priorities governing life. Is there a better balance that we can strike to reduce our selfishness and our own personal needs against those of what we are called to fulfill in our short life?

Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I have gone back and forth on whether some things I buy or own are just for me. For example, I bought a set of really fine, handmade Renaissance recorders. Yes, I get great delight out of playing them, but I also allow others in my recorder group to play them each week, and we are all learning to make more beautiful music. It is not purely selfish, nor purely altruistic, but seems to be a means to grace anyway.

    So it may be as much as what I do with things. I would argue your artist supplies, while being something for your own creative use and joy, are also about sharing and touching other people with your visions. That is unless you keep your art totally to yourself?

    There is also the hard question of what do I need for myself, whether it is making music or art or something else, that is essential to my own self-nuture, and my spiritual growth so that I can go out and be in ministry to others? I do beleive that I need to grab the oxygen for myself before trying to help others.


  2. Thanks Bruce, and exactly! Your comments are what I was thinking about when I talked about "balance". Well said! jfd+