Takeaway Christianity

Takeaway Christianity

Takeaway Christianity

Fast food, swift cars, incredibly
quick communication, snap decisions…wait a minute, snap
decisions?…the pace of life in the Western World is
accelerating…and we’re making snap decisions?

The words of the old hymn spring
to mind “…oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what
needless pain we bear – all because we (make snap
decisions) do not carry everything to God in prayer”.

Psalm 90:10 reminds us of the
brevity of our earthly lives, but goes on to say
“…so teach us to number our days that we may apply
our hearts unto wisdom”. The question begs an answer.
‘Why do we need to apply our hearts unto wisdom’ For
what, particularly if we know we’re out of here

Recently I was enjoying the
afternoon sun, sitting on our verandah which overlooks our
neighbours property. We live up on an elevation and I have a
birds-eye view of happenings in the neighbourhood
add to this the fact that our neighbour is my Mum, it’s

Anyway, on this particular
evening, I watched with interest my Mum fossicking in her garden,
inspecting growth, pulling the odd weed and relocating ornamental
bits from one place to another. I enjoyed trying to work out
whether there was rhyme or reason to it all as she worked on,
obviously delighted with the whole activity, investing her
energies into this botanical pursuit.

A Christian friend popped in and
made a statement which confirmed to me again that our thoughts
(beliefs) really do control how we go about living our lives.

“Amazing isn’t it” he said. “Doing all of
that work and it’ll all be gone soon, all that work for

“For nothing?” I
replied. Almost without thinking I continued “I think this
is perhaps the greatest problem facing us in the Western
World…forget materialism and love of money, before all of
that comes the curse of a ‘short term

A short term view is the opposite
to faith, purposeful living and ultimately life more abundant.
A short term view robs us of enjoying the journey as we are so
intent on making it to the destination
. Furthermore, if we
have experienced any semblance of success, a short term view
would have us floundering for purpose after the fact.

My friend was a little bewildered
and perhaps thought I was going through a deep and meaningful
phase of life as I continued “That garden is a testimony to
my Mum’s perseverance and personal commitment to labour
towards a goal…it is a part of her legacy to her children
and grandchildren who will remember certain things about their
Nanna as they enjoy her garden in years to come – besides
all of that, my Mum is not lazy, and enjoys the challenge of hard
work. This is in itself is a blessing to me her son. No! This is
not all for nothing!“

Later on I spoke to my wife about
this unusual conversation and she reminded me that after God
spent six days of labour creating this world (and us), He sat
back for the Sabbath and said “It is good”, in other
words as He rested, He enjoyed the fruit of His labours. That
Sabbath: A blueprint for His creation perhaps?

In fact why do we bother doing
anything at all in life? People completely ruled by a short term
view would immediately chip in ‘Yes, why do we

Thankfully, as we get to know God
more and more, He lifts our vision beyond our natural scope of
view, and provided we are prepared to ‘let go’ of our
puny thoughts, He invites us to be partakers in something far
bigger and more fulfilling than our wildest imaginations could
ever provide for us: The Divine Partnership: a creative God,
and man, made in His image “to be creative” –
2 Peter 1:4-13.

My feeling is that often, we are
so afraid of humanistic thinking and new age philosophies
(illegitimate forms of God’s blueprint) that we do not dare
to dream or step forward with confidence and say to our peers
– ‘I believe, therefore I must do something - Watch

“The Kingdom of Heaven is as
a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants
and delivered unto them his goods…”. The whole of
Matthew 25 offers some very useful insight into what God requires
of His people, those who have ‘given their lives to Him
– and therefore entered the most ‘Divine

The Scriptures talk a great deal
about the flesh being at enmity with God – of this, we have
no doubt. Mans grave problem with self-centredness and sin is
clearly spoken about in the Word, and is physically enacted
before our very eyes daily. We are well advised to be aware of
our carnality and associated tendencies!

However, there is the
legitimate God-side of our beings. We are made in the
image of God and need to acknowledge this fact, along with the
‘dark side.’

What happens when we trade in this
useless short term view for a balanced long term version? A whole
range of behavioural patterns change! We stop looking for quick
fixes, easy escapes and a focus on money or rewards in the short
term. God looks after His people, and we go about establishing
long term outcomes from having ordered our decision-making in
accordance with His will (which is one and the same thing as our
best self- interest). Proverbs 28:22 tells us there are no
‘get rich quick schemes with God.’

For example, the business
who has a Godly long term view will not be interested
in just grabbing peoples money, but will serve his customers to
the best of his/her ability, building ‘customer
relationships for life’…even establishing a legacy
for their next generation to continue the work…

Pastors with a long term
view, learn that God has an abundance of giftings available
within different people, and that the pastor’s role is to
nurture and allow people to exercise these gifts for the work of
the ministry – the moment a pastor forgets this because of
a short-term view, they may find themselves running around like
headless chickens, trying to solve everybody’s

The person who has a
long term view of health will look at what is happening to
their bodies now, and take appropriate steps to balance food and
drink, stress levels and exercise – because there is a
future! Some religious beliefs would have us focus only on our
spirits, neglecting our bodies…short term expediency!

Parents with a long term
view will spend appropriate time with their children, encouraging
them, disciplining them, teaching them how to work, assisting
them in education, warning them about the folly of ‘short
term expediency’ (quick fixes) – we are establishing
these children, and setting them up for when we are gone!
Proverbs 29:15-18 Interestingly, from the context of disciplining
children, comes the well known passage…”Where there
is no vision the people perish”.

Here’s the crux of the
matter – a long term view does not finish at your death or
mine! It goes well beyond ‘us’ to ensuing generations
– and on into eternity – it affects the way we go
about living ‘now’. It gives purpose to establishing,
not escaping!

Personal tragedies aside (which
are always salvageable because of God), after a lifetime of
productivity and purposeful living, a man or woman who orders
their lives in accordance with Godly wisdom and balanced
discipline, can leave a raft load of spiritual and
goods to their offspring – a multigenerational
heritage of great strength.

The hope of heaven is a wonderful
future gift, worth over and above any reward possible during our
physical lives – but our physical lives are to be lived;
and in Jesus “Lived more abundantly!”

My Mums garden is not a waste of