Cast your bread upon the waters

Jesus is, “…the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6a)  “…all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col.1:16b-17)

While knowing these truths about Jesus (or rather, that he is the truth), I still attempt to quantify him.  To store him neatly on the shelf, to pull out at my convenience.  To reduce him to logic, and his acts to formula, as though I could fully understand him and his ways with my limited mind.

But I cannot plumb the depths of Jesus Christ.  He is mystery, yet simple enough for a child to love.  He is unfathomable, yet near.  He is full of blinding light, yet bids us to look on him and be saved.  He is the word that lit up Mount Sinai with lightning, and whose thunders made the Israelites tremble, and he is the Word become flesh, saving us from our sins.

He is the center of all things.  Like the hub of a bike wheel, holding up and supporting all of the spokes that radiate out from it.  He is like the sun, shining his light into the darkest corners of the universe; the darkest places of our hearts.  Wherever we hide, his light remains, and if we only peek our eyes out and follow the light, we would see him.

I’m not quite sure where all that just came from, or why I’m writing about the mystery of Jesus when I intended to quote further from a book on tidying my home.  Maybe it’s this.  I find it fascinating when Truth is affirmed through experience, even if it is the religious experience of someone who (as far as I can tell) is not a follower of Jesus.

Jesus seemed to turn our natural understanding of things on its head.  Take the simple idea of provision.  His words are simple and clear on the matter.  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…. Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.”  (Matt 6:19, 25)

My natural tendency is to hoard.  The thing about hoarding, which I’m still trying to understand, is that it doesn’t lead to more peace, security and comfort.  For me, it leads to distraction, discontentment, anxiety, and insecurity.  Hoarding feeds my desire to hoard, to stock up against the future, and this desire is never satisfied.

King Solomon put it more succinctly.  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)  The first several times I read this, I did not understand it.  But I think the following verse sheds some light on it.  “Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.” (v. 2)

In other words, give freely, and it will come back to you.  Do not hold on to the things that are so dear to you.  Let them go, and you will find them returning to you just when you need them.  Give freely, for you do not know when you will lose them to disaster anyway.

In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she affirms this truth, but from a  non-Biblical perspective.  She says,

Everything you own wants to be of use to you.  Even if you throw it away or burn it, it will only leave behind the energy of wanting to be of service.  Freed from its physical form, it will move about your world as energy… and come back to you as the thing that will be of most use to who you are now…  A piece of clothing might come back as a new and beautiful outfit, or it may reappear as information or a new connection.  I promise you: whatever you let go will come back in exactly the same amount… (p. 193)

This reminded me of Jesus’ words in Luke 6:38.

…give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

Jesus can even speak through a book on tidying my home.  I guess he has a sense of humor, too.

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