In May I paid $4.09 for a gallon of gas outside Telluride, Colorado. In November I'm paying $2.15 per gallon at my local pump. Good news for most. Nightmare for me.
Since 2005, I've worked as an oil and gas broker. I always heard it was a "feast or famine" business, and for the past few years I've been feasting. But now I - and thousands of other dear, dear people I've worked with - am out of work. We've been laid off and cut loose and shoved out the door, and we can't find another position to save to our lives.
To say the least, I've been concerned. I knew I had enough money to see me through October and that was it. I took some short-lived work at a local law firm for some extra money, but that's done now. I decided last week that since it's gotten so bad - and since this house needs so much that I can't provide - I was going to put Freeman House on eBay. Put her on the market. It's overwhelming enough when I have a good job. Now it seems impossible.
My church is currently hearing a series of sermons about money. Money stewardship... things like that. Yesterday our preacher read from Psalms 24: The earth and everything on it belong to the LORD... It encouraged me. Although my name might be on Freeman House's title... although my name may be on a few accounts... my house, my car, my investments - everything, is really God's. Not mine. He's just given me a few things to enjoy or take care of, is all. And I have a responsibility to do well with what He's given me. Although I could think of a hundred other things to do with the money, I wrote a check for 10% of what I made at the law firm (us Christians call that "tithing") and dropped it in the offering plate. It's Yours anyway, Lord. And I'm counting on You to help me with this house and the little money I have left.
So I get in the Jeep this morning, still encouraged by yesterday's message. I have an armful of packages and letters to mail and a box of henrybella's goodies to deliver. And... ? What? ? I'm turning the ignition key and waiting for the Jeep to start and all I'm getting is a loud click-click-click-click-click-click-click.
I sat there a second, confused. Then I pumped the gas and jammed the key forward again. "Oh no you don't! NO. YOU. DON'T" I yelled.
Fortunately I live almost downtown. Fortunately the post office is six houses and two blocks (if you take an alley) away from Freeman House. I got my stuff out of the car and started walking. Then I dialed my Mom. When she answered I started crying. "My Jeep won't start!" I wailed. "And you know, Mom, I'm doing the best I can. I'm tithing. I'm giving. I've told God that Freeman House is His to do whatever He wants with. I really, really go out of my way trying here. What's the deal? I wrote God a check yesterday and now I WANT MY MONEY BACK!"
(Yeah. I said that. I'm not proud.)
My Mom sets me straight. She reminds me of what I'm always saying, anyway: I can't take it with me. So I stop blubbering. I do my business in the post office and skulk back into the alley to head home.
I'm walking... walking... and pass the pretty flower pots that always have such colorful blooms. I'm passing them and thinking what a mess this all is: the job market... my Jeep... poor old Freeman House with her leaking roof and now-moldy sheetrock... and suddenly words catch my eye. What? I've walked this alley 700 times and never noticed that between the flower pots before:
THIS HOME IS GOD'S.
Funny thing, the building the sign rests against isn't a home. It's the back of our little town's newspaper office. And even funnier is I never would have seen it if I hadn't been on foot.
This Home Is God's.
I don't know what's going to happen. I don't have answers... I don't have money... I don't have plans. But it doesn't matter, does it? The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. So I don't need to throw up my hands or crawl back into bed. I don't need to spend my day worrying. This is God's stuff, after all. He'll see to it. Clicking Jeep and leaking roof and lacking job. He's got it covered.
Thank God. Thank goodness. Thank God's goodness.
Monday Moment is a little humble little devotional to help kick start your week. See you again next time!