20 February 2012 ~ 6 Comments

Buying Gas

When I was a kid I thought my dad (an accountant) was such a cheapskate.  Whenever we wanted something new, we were encouraged to check the outlet store first.  Generic soda and other generic groceries were a part of our kitchen.  And my dad always knew where the cheapest gas in town was, and usually timed his stops there perfectly to not go out of the way for gas.

We talked about money growing up, but watching and participating in saving, budgeting, and splurging once in a while learned is where the magic happened. I learned about money.  The teaching was both intentional and unintentional.  I saw the results of my parent’s practices in the results of their lives, and the lessons were internalized.

As I read chapter two I was struck by how un-natural some of the conversations the authors set up seemed.  I don’t know that I would start where they started, or use the same language.  However, I do think that when we can speak God/faith into everyday matters such as fights with friends or team tryouts, we are creating sticky faith.  I think we need to be intentional about this, and it needs to happen so often and we need to live it in a way that the intentional moments are a reflection of the unintentional moments.

I’m not sure what this looks like or sounds like (though I think it sounds different than the authors portray).  I think each family has it’s own language, but naming God and words like Trust are powerful, even if they do feel uncomfortable.

More than a transaction

I used to help lead a retreat with a group of youthleaders, twice a year- one for jr. high and one for high school.  I was the new kid on the block, so I was never on the inner circle that helped plan the theme or the big “spiritual” stuff.  After a few years I notices something about our themes.  Every year, every theme had something to do with a newness, and the big spiritual moments where focused on Jesus dying for our sins, and we are now to live differently.  The theme was always about the “transaction” of Jesus paying for our sins, but gave little tools on how to respond.

We could communicate the forgiveness of sins really well, but living the life of a disciple was never articulated at this retreat.

I think this is an area that the Episcopal church (generally) has some advantage.  I would say that we have articulated what a faith looks like at moments besides “mountain top” experiences.  The sacraments are a regular part of our lives and worship.  Serving others, not for the sake of righteousness for the sake of serving others, is a big part of who we are.  Funerals and grief are topics that we’re comfortable with and something that is a regular part of the church’s ministry.

We have a rich faith to share, and our kids are learning from it.  What do you think?  Are we (as a church, church culture, youth ministry) doing enough naming as we live?  Are we talking about saving money while we save money on gas or are we just dragging our kids across town to the cheap gas and not explaining why?

NEW exercise:

We’re a group.  We go to church together, we care about our kids, we love Jesus, we’ve got a lot in common.  Let’s try to do a little personal sharing in addition to talking ideas.  This week please include the best part of your week and the most challenging part of your week so the group can remember you in prayer and celebrate with you.  (obviously, this is in the internet, so keep it web appropriate- as if your boss were reading this).

Feel free to respond to the questions in the back of the book, my thoughts above, or in some other unguided way.


6 Responses to “Buying Gas”