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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Taking Stock

Taking Stock

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by: Ryan Kiblinger, Pastor, Foundation UMC

How often do you take stock of your life? I have a few friends who have worked in jobs where on a quarterly or annual basis, they have had to ‘take stock’. They work in a retail store, or in a company where what they have is itemized and closely controlled. They know when a product comes into their store or building, and they know when a product leaves. There isn’t really much room for error, as there is an entire system set up for scanning items in and scanning items out. But even though on a day by day, moment by moment basis there is a system for knowing what has come in and what has gone out, they still have to take stock.

They have to stay late, sometimes over night, and count by hand just what it is that they have. Now, they know that their counts are supposed to match up perfectly with what the computer says, but… Well, I bet you can guess what happens all too often. Their counts are off! They don’t have enough of something, and somehow they have too much of something else! How could this be? They have an entire system dedicated to what they have and don’t have. But they are still off.

Now, most of us in our lives, we don’t have a system so sophisticated set up. We don’t monitor daily or even regularly the things that our lives accumulate. We are more like ships that collect barnacles even unaware. We collect things, we collect relationships, we collect bad habits. We pick these things up, but we rarely but many things down. We become burdened by what we have.

Richard Foster in his book Freedom of Simplicity says that the three things that keep us from God most in our culture are hurry, crowds, and noise. Hurry, crowds, and noise are really about the stuff aware in our lives. So perhaps we need to take stock. Do you have just want you need to serve Christ, and nothing more? Do you have a collection of habits, attitudes, or activities that crowd out the holy in your life? Are you too busy to prayer? Too busy to read your Bible? Too busy to engage in acts of service? Perhaps we all need to take stock, so that we can be set free from the hurry, crowds, and noise in our lives.

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