Friday, November 24, 2006

focused on living out what lasts

As I think about this day in our country, perhaps the biggest day of shopping of the year, I thought of my time at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. I was blessed in every way possible, above all in finding my life partner there, Deb. And also in the many people I met.

Dr. Ted Rendall was second to none in his intellect and constant reading (his personal library was massive). And he also lived out his faith. His actions and life spoke as powerfully to us, as the great teaching we received from him. There were many others too. Everyone of the professors there I feel blessed to have gotten to know.

This was largely a self-sustaining community when I was there (1980-83). Therefore it was made up of people of all kinds of trades. And believe me, these people lived simple lifestyles. In those days, no television was on campus. Prairie was in the midst of change then (for the better, I think), though we didn't see the end result ourselves. But the point I'm making is that these people lived sacrificially. They were committed to the mission of training Christian leaders and workers, many of whom would serve all over the world.

I'm thinking of this little haven, nestled in a small town, far flung from anything but beautiful rolling prairie land. It was idyllic in helping students focus on what they were there for. (And we'd go to Calgary or other places, getting to share in serving others through preaching, teaching, witnessing, loving.) Perhaps this is a major part of the point. It's okay to go shopping, of course. But where is our focus? Where is our treasure? On things of this earth? Or the things of heaven?

And how can we best express that focus this holiday season? Good question for us to ask and pray about. Let's get caught up in what will last forever- in Jesus and as his community and mission partners in the world.

2 comments:

Dr. D said...

Very nicely put, shopping is a big deal - isn't it? Odd that we don't see how materialism eats our souls to pieces? However, as is sometimes the case, I'm given to wonder, is it character enhancement 101, from the master teacher, or, selective listening on the part of the students?

Ted Gossard said...

Dr. D,

Good question. If we want to be true followers of Christ, then we'll have to hear his voice to us from Scripture about the warning of how material possessions can be in the way of us, so walking. We certainly have to refuse to become engrossed in the things we use and give thanks to God for.

And you put it so well. Not only does that material rust and destruct, but also materialism eats away our very soul.

Thanks for your good thoughts and question.