“I know my job as a Christ follower is to give him from everything he’s given me. So here’s what I do; I sing in the praise band, help out with the youth group, attend a small group every week and of course, tithe. Every time I get a chance, I look for ways to serve people. I know this pleases God.”
I would celebrate, but I know that my friend is exhausted. The word she uses is “dry”. Despite her busyness, her spiritual life lacks a heart level vitality. She looks great on the outside and she knows it, but inside? Like I said, her word is “dry”.
Another friend of mine in a similar situation laid his calendar down before the Lord. “What belongs, what do I cut?” He was appalled at the response. His church community was as well.
“Wait? You’re not going to teach Bible study this fall? What’s going on? Are you all right?”
My friend smiled. “Never better.”
In truth, he grieved deeply the loss of so many wonderful activities. But here was the truly amazing thing; in the gaps, in the seemingly dead space of unscheduled evenings, my friend found Christ.
His story reminded me of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. The most committed of us are nothing like the tenants who refused to give the master his due. We harvest the grapes, pack them into baskets and joyfully, dare I say, pridefully, hand them over to the master.
We miss the other part of the story. These tenants are not just laborers, they are co-laborers. They are meant to share in the harvest, to carry grapes home to their families and friends. They’re meant to make wine.
“Oh no, I don’t really need anything. I’m doing fine, thanks. That person, those people, the widow, the teenager, the new mom, they all need so much more than me. Here, take the harvest. I don’t need any wine. Thanks.
Ours is a false guilt that keeps us from receiving the gifts Christ has for us personally. And he does have gifts for us. Astonishingly, he has more for each one of us than we could possibly imagine.
Perhaps we would do well to take our hands out of our pockets, step forward and humbly receive.
Have you tasted the wine Christ has for you lately?