Who among us doesn’t spend their lives juggling? We juggle Family, Friends, Faith, Fitness, Fun, Finances, and endless responsibilities. It’s called Life.
The young Jesus of Nazareth “kept increasing” in STATURE (physical wellbeing) KNOWLEDGE (intellectual prowess) FAVOR WITH GOD (spiritual health) and FAVOR WITH MAN (social life) according to Luke 2:52.
Paul’s final words of his second letter are instructive in this life of juggling priorities. As he is incarcerated in Rome he writes to his colleague Timothy to hurry to him (“come before winter”) and to bring 4 things:
1). His “CLOAK”
Allow Paul’s request for his cloak to symbolize his concern for his physical wellbeing. Teresa and I have visited the famous Mamertine Prison where Paul was entombed in its ancient bowels--it is a grim place. Asceticism is not the pathway to God.
2). His “BOOKS”
Not the Good Book, but books. Paul was well read in the literature and history and culture of his times. He kept up with current events and cultural trends. One can see how widely read he was as we read his sermons and letters from Titus 1, Acts 17, and I Corinthians 15. He knew Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel but also Tom, Dick, and Harry.
3). His “SCROLL”
Paul had studied the Law and the Prophets at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). That’s like a Bible degree from Harding Graduate School (that was a tip of the hat to Steve Cloer). He valued scripture. He wanted God’s word near his hand, head, and heart. The companionship of scripture warms, comforts, and inspires.
4). His friend “MARK”
Yes some friends like Demas will desert you but still we need Friends. That’s one to the things most detestable about the spring and summer of 2020—our isolation from our network of friends. Isolation is one of Satan’s sparkling toys.
Years ago I wrote a lesson describing a true friend as having these qualities: good cheer, listening ear, sensitive tear, kicks in the rear, and speaking truth without fear.
Which of these four would you say you most need to improve to find a healthy balance in your life?
CLOAK (physical wellbeing)
BOOKS (intellectual growth)
SCROLL (spiritual growth)
MARK (friends to fuel your social wellbeing)
God bless you as we all continue to juggle.