Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why I'm Selling My Wedding Ring!

A single question haunts and excites me as I sit tonight and hold a shiny token of our wedding covenant: my wedding ring.  

What is Jesus worth to me?

This question leads to yet another question…is Jesus worth my wedding ring?

These may seem like odd questions, but if you’ll stick with me a moment longer, I’ll explain what these questions mean and how I came to ask them as I sat in a quiet bedroom, listening to the children softly breathing over the monitor at 11:42 p.m. on a Saturday night.

To begin, my whole world has been shaken up lately.  I don’t mean this as in something huge has happened (good or bad) as overall, all is quiet on the Western Front (or in our case…on the Western Street!).  What I’m referring to is something that God has been whispering to my heart that is communicating a LOUD message.  It’s a message I’m scared to hear…and thrilled.  It’s the message of the Gospel.  The real gospel, not the Americanized, user-friendly gospel of “come to Jesus and have a great life” but rather the Christianity that Jesus presented when he walked this earth.

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”  Luke 18:21

““If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  Luke 14:26

We can read these verses and squirm a bit, we can not like them…but one thing remains: they are truth.  If we choose to ignore these words…we are ignoring our Savior that gave EVERYTHING so we could be His.  He has equipped us with what we need to reach those that are lost and perishing and we only have a short amount of time left (be it 5 minutes, 5 days or 85 years…in light of eternity, it is SHORT) so the question begs an answer from usWhat is Jesus worth to me?

Let’s pretend your doorbell just rang.  (Ding-dong!)  You were waiting for this and you grab a carefully wrapped box that sits on the bench by the door, at last!  When the door swings open, a Fed-Ex man in his uniform stands ready and you hand him your precious gift.  He gives you a somber nod and hurries back to the truck, it seems he understands the urgency of this matter and the importance of his job and wants to waste no time.   As the red, purple and white truck backs out of your driveway, you can feel your excitement mounting: the loved ones you purchased the gift for will have their lives changed by what’s inside!

You wait a few days, anticipating the phone call from those dear loved ones.   The call that would say, “I received the package today, thank you!  I’m not the same person now that I opened it up and saw the gift you sent!”  But the days turn into weeks and the phone sits silently on the counter.  Strange. Then a funny thing happens one day when you are out at the grocery store: you run into the Fed-Ex man.  Even though he’s not decked out in his uniform, you recognize his face and speed down the aisle with your cart to catch up to him.

“Excuse me, aren’t you a Fed-Ex driver?”  You shout this after him and he smiles when he sees you, recognizing you as well.

“Yes, how are you?”

“I’m good but I was wondering if you delivered that package you picked up a few weeks ago?”

His smile fades into a confused frown, “Well, no.  I kept it.”

“WHAT!?”  You stare at him in shock.

“Yes, I opened it when I got to the truck and really liked what was inside so I thought, what the heck, I’m just going to keep this and enjoy it.”  He shrugs and walk away.
Just imagine what you’d be feeling: anger (I’m calling Fed-Ex!!  This guy is getting fired!!), confusion (Why would he think he could keep something intended for someone else?  Didn’t he understand what his job was?), and even sadness (my loved ones will never know what I had in store for them now…the gift intended for them never arrived.).  

I sometimes wonder what God feels when he gives us packages (talents, time, and resources) to use to reach his loved ones…and we hoard it instead.  This is something that my husband and I are striving with (and struggling with!) in our own lives.  Is that $100 bonus check for us to splurge on a hotel weekend or to give towards the storm victims of Joplin?  We both had a few free hours this week, was that for watching movies or to grab coffee with a hurting friend?  When I made small talk with the clerk at a department store and she mentioned how depressed she has been, did I show her the love and joy that can be found in a relationship with Christ?

So the question of “What is Jesus worth to me?” led me to the next question of, “Is he worth my wedding ring?” because my ring is worth some money and my husband and I have been focusing on becoming completely debt-free.  Debt, by it’s very nature, holds EVERYONE and EVERYTHING back!  If we were to sell my ring, we could be debt-free that much faster.   If God called us to pack up tomorrow and go to Columbia, we could.  And if He calls us to thrive right here in our wonderful community, we would have even more financial freedom to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my ring.  In fact, I had dreamt about it before I even saw it and when the love of my life popped the question, all I could do was stare at the ring he had pulled out of that little black box.  The problem was, the ring he pulled out wasn’t the one I had dreamed of (that was his first clue he was getting a slightly high-maintenance woman, bless his heart!!).  He actually had to ask me the question again to shake me from my materialistic idolizing stupor before I said (emphatically), “YES!!”  Of course, the next day we returned the impostor (sorry, dear) and began a quest for the beloved chunk of gold and rock that now graces my finger.

That being said, I realized tonight something spectacular about this ring that I had never truly considered: I CANT TAKE IT WITH ME!!  But, if I sell it and use the money to pay off debt to free up more of our finances and time to enable us to reach more people with the Gospel of salvation and make a difference in the Kingdom then I AM SENDING IT ON AHEAD (to Eternity!).  And THAT gets me pretty darn excited.


kawabanana said...

So Cool!

carrie said...

Great post! I refused to let Kris go into debt to my ring to begin with...we have cheapie walmart sets. However, I can't wear either of them anymore! The engagement ring doesn't fit and the wedding band gives me a rash :D We've kicked the idea around of having cool tattoos put in their place. Kris can't wear his ring to work at all anyway either :D

~Beth D. said...

I am working at becoming debt free as well. We did not get into debt by choice: no fancy things to show for it. We actually charged more than 6 months of rent after my husband was laid off and we couldn't afford our rent, but couldn't afford to have the lease terminated either.

Anyway, the car is paid off, two debts paid off and only one HUGE one to go, (besides school loans.) Even though both of us have been laid off in the past 2 years, we have been able to live on less and less. GOD IS SO AMAZING!

Go for it, whatever God has placed on your heart. His words are for you!

Maribel said...

Tara - I admire your steadfast heart to the Lord. Thank you for being an example to many in how the Lord stirs up our hearts and we shouldn't wait for a trajedy to make it happen. Bless you & your family.

Maribel said...
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