Gather Your Things

Gathering my things is a way to bring together the various items that have been toted here and there, to take stock of their location and condition, and to remain aware of their usefulness. It’s a way to make sure I have what I need before I get halfway through a writing assignment, a recipe or a home improvement project. Gathering my things makes getting my work done easier and more pleasant, and it prevents me from buying new items unnecessarily. Perhaps I’m more grateful when such gathering reveals the material bounty already present in my life.

But I want to take the reminder to¬†gather your things beyond the literal sense. I want to practice gathering my thoughts and feelings, my shortcomings and my talents. I want to recognize what is mine to offer or withhold, to honor the boundary between my own stuff and what belongs to my neighbor. I don’t want to burden others with what is mine to bear, and I don’t want to assume burdens and tasks that belong to others. In churchy words, I want to take up my own cross, offer my own gifts, and live the God-given life that is uniquely mine. I want to encourage others as they do the same. And I want to be a good companion while we all walk through this time and place together. And for the many things that require more than one person, I want share what I have and accept the gifts of another. If I can do that, I’ll live a blessed life.

Lord, help me gather the things you have made mine. Gather my hours and days, Lord, for your purposes. When my time ends, gather me in your arms and bring me home. Amen.

[This is one in the series, Every School Day. Click above for more information.]

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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