by Rev. Jim Person

“Give us more faith” they asked Jesus” … Jesus said, “God gives you all the faith you need.  All you can do is say ‘yes’ to the faith God writes on your heart.”  From Spark Story Bible, p. 394, “A Seed of Faith”.

While it may not be true to the original Greek manuscripts, or whatever theological literary standard we use to judge the validity of scripture, I like the above paraphrase of Jesus’ words to his disciples in this reading for the Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost.  It is an example that what we learn from Jesus and the Bible is applicable to nearly all aspects of life.

How many times have we said, or heard someone say, “If I only had  more time” or, “If I only had more money”, or, in effect, pray, “Lord give us more [fill in the blank].”  And how many times might Jesus’ response be, “God gives you all need”.

Our finances are a good example.  It would always be nice to have more money, but are we investing what we have, if even just a little, in ways that promote growth and not waste?

More to the point of this article, let’s consider the gifts of time and energy given to us by our Creator.  Those who seek health and wholeness often lament, “I just don’t have enough time to exercise, prepare healthy foods, or learn about what it takes to improve my health and fitness.”  But investing just a small amount over time can pay large dividends.  And, as the “capital”, or time invested increases, so do the payoffs.  Finding a little time for some stretching and strengthening during commercials while watching TV, while waiting for someone to arrive for a meeting, or if a meeting is cancelled, can work wonders for our wellbeing.  Preparing several healthy meals on the weekend that can be quickly served during the week helps avoid the temptation to grab something “quick and easy” that may also be unhealthy and energy-draining.  Every little bit of time wisely invested compounds the healthy payoff.

Energy is another commodity in which a small investment can build up a large account.  It’s not easy to part with some of our hard-earned money for a while to invest it in an account that grows slowly over time.  But the discipline to invest that money wisely now will pay off down the road.  Likewise, it may be difficult to invest in healthy activity what little energy we have left during a busy week after all the essential tasks are taken care of.  But like money that earns compound interest, a little discipline now will reap big rewards as time goes on.  Energy invested wisely leads to more energy to invest wisely that grows more energy, etc. etc. etc.

“Give us more…”  Before we pray for more, let’s do what God calls us to do with what we have.

Peace be with you all.