This Sunday, our pastor spoke about the parable of the talents. You remember it? The master leaves different amounts of money (or talents) with three servants. The first guy gets the most money, the second guy gets a little less and the third guy only gets one bag o’gold. Then the master leaves expecting his servants to do something good with the money for him.
The first servant invests and doubles his money as does the second servant. The third servant, however, buries his money because he knew his master was a hard man and didn’t want to lose any of his money. The master is mad and throws the guy out!
The pastor’s point was that we each have a treasure chest to manage. In fact, our whole life is a treasure trove of experience and wisdom. We can choose to bury that treasure never passing on our experience or wisdom to the generation below us, or we can share it with those around us. Share it, in hopes that it will keep others from the pitfalls and mistakes we made.
At one point during the sermon, the pastor pulled a gold skull from a treasure chest and said, “Most of us would like to keep skeletons buried in our closets. We don’t want to share our mistakes, our fears, our embarrassing moments with others.” But if we don’t share them, those experiences and the wisdom we learned from them will die with us. If you could stop people from falling into the same landmines as you, wouldn’t you? Don’t you want to help people stay away from the dumb financial/marriage/parenting choices you’ve made?
But it’s hard. So hard. Who wants to air their dirty laundry? Who wants to share the hardest, most hurtful parts of your life with another?
I just finished Lara Williams‘ new (first!) book where she opens up the treasure box of her own life and gently, graciously shares her skeletons and treasures with us. To Walk or Stay is the story of the infidelity of Lara’s husband and how she responded.
Well, actually, it’s not really his story at all. In fact, what he did is only about one and a half paragraphs of the whole book. This story is about Lara. And about God. About “trusting God through shattered hopes and suffocating fears”.
She was the cheated on one, the hurt one—yet, she looked inside and looked to God and said, “Change me.” This book is the journey of a woman leaning on God.
It’s not a marriage book. Although, it’s made me look at my marriage. It’s not a “what to do when bad things happen” book, although if you’re facing hard times, this is the book for you. It’s a book that will lead you to trust God no matter where you are…or where you think He is.
It’s an easy read with only ten little chapters and I finished it quickly. But I’m excited to join the Book Club at Lara’s blog in April because I want to read it again this time, doing the small group questions and “digging deeper” section at the end of each chapter. I think this is a book that is born of such real life change, that it will change my own life if I take time with it.
One of my favorite chapters was about prayer and praying God’s Word. (That’s kind of a theme with me, you know.) Lara says,
“In Hebrew, the word ‘meditate’ means ‘to utter.’ It means we aren’t just thinking about God’s Word–though we want His Word filling our minds. It means we’re speaking God’s Word. To live the blessed life, His Word needs to be on our lips.“
She suggests we take God’s Word and turn it into prayers like this, “You promised, Lord. You will restore the years that the locust shave eaten. I believe You. I praise and thank You.” But she takes it a step further (a step I love and so appreciate),
“I’m learning to speak more believing-prayers rather than beseeching-prayers…Yes, I ask God for things and for change and for victory. Bit if I’ve already asked for something, I try to speak words of faith instead of asking for the same thing again and again. ‘Lord, I’ve already asked you to heal my marriage. To use it for Your honor. I trust that You ware faithfully working that out. I trust that even in this day You are answering that prayer. Show me how I can honor You today according to its outworking.’”
Isn’t that fabulous? Such a small shift, but one that makes a big difference.
Lara is on the HelloMornings team with me and I’ve met and talked with her at Allume the last two years. But I’m so excited to have this bigger piece of her heart and ministry for myself–I am looking forward reading the book again with the book club. I hope you’ll join us!
Is there a place in your life where you are trying to decide if you should walk or stay? Give yourself this book–take Lara’s treasure for yourself. You can grab the kindle version right away or order the hard copy for less than $10.
I’m on the To Walk or Stay launch team. All thoughts and opinions my own.