I love my little girl Kailey. She is four years old and has got her daddy whipped. When she crosses her eyes and wiggles her eyebrows up and down she makes me roar with laughter. She calls me “Gregory” when she wants to irritate and amuse me at the same time. And when she wants something she knows how to get it too. She wraps both of her tiny arms around my leg and starts begging “Oh please! Oh please! Oh please!” with over-exaggerated drama. And, to be honest, those big blue eyes make me melt like a snow cone on a hot summer’s day in the Sahara every single time.
One of the things that cracks me up about little Kailey is that she always carries a bucket full of toys with her wherever she goes. In that bucket there is every little toy you could imagine. She has Wonderpets, legos, little dolls and rubber balls. She’s got all sorts of seemingly unrelated toys in that tiny bucket of fun.
Wherever we take her, whether it be at a park, a birthday party or our childcare provider’s house she busts out the bucket-o-toys and starts playing. Somehow she connects all the toys together in some kind of game that only she understands. Literally, the girl can entertain herself for hours with that little bucket of toys. She LOVES it and talks about it all the time.
At night she wants her B.O.T.s by her bed so that she can wake up and see it in the dark by the glimmer of her night light. She even wants to take it with her into the bathtub when its scrubbing time at the Stier house. But even I, the great Mr. Puddy-in-her-hands, says no to that…usually.
I tolerate her bucket of toys because she is four years old. I understand that this kind of thing is part of being a kid. I know that someday, all by herself, she will put down the bucket of toys and exchange it for something more grown up.
As I was watching her one night playing with her toys I started thinking to myself, “What is my bucket of toys? What is that thing that I take with me wherever I go and talk about all the time?”
I wish that I could honestly answer that it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But to be honest, my passion for Dare 2 Share can sometimes surpass my passion for Jesus. At these times I can plop down my bucket of toys and blab non stop about all the ministry taking place through Dare 2 Share, then pack up my toys and go home.
Like Kailey, I love my bucket of toys.
Don’t get me wrong, executing the mission and ministry of Dare 2 Share is a big part of what Jesus has called me to do. But too often I forget that the bucket of ministry I’m responsible for is not the point. Jesus is.
It’s way too easy in ministry to let what we are doing for Jesus take the throne of Jesus. Sure we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” But, when those good works rule in Christ’s stead, good ministry becomes bad idolatry.
Hence the trickiness of our relationship between our calling and our King. The reason that this relationship can be tough to manage is that we are called by God to accomplish our missions with passion and precision. But these holy callings from God can quickly morph into something more sinister. It can for me anyway. I know that when I’m in flesh mode instead of Spirit mode, Dare 2 Share becomes my Lord instead of Jesus.
Pray for me. I want God to be the object of my utmost desire, for Him to be my bucket of toys. The apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians 3:7-11, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in ChristÃ¢â‚¬â€the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
I want Jesus to be what fills my bucket every single day, not Dare 2 Share or anything else. I want to do Dare 2 Share with passion because I have a passion to know Jesus and share Him with as many people as possible. I want Dare 2 Share to be an instrument of my passion for God and not the object of my passion.
This is the battle that I face everyday in ministry. This is the challenge I have with my bucket of toys.
What about you? What is your bucket of toys? Is it ministry or sports or work or friendships or technology or something or someone else? We all have a go to bucket that we run to when we are contolled by the flesh instead of the Spirit. Whatever your bucket of toys is let us learn together to allow Jesus to fill our hearts to overflow with a passion for Him. Let’s discover how to let everthing else we do be an expression of our love for Him!
Fill us up with you and you alone O God!