Last night, Jan and I watched the new version of the classic movie, Ben-Hur. One scene touched me more than the others. It was when Jesus was carrying His cross while wearing a crown of thorns stumbling through the streets of Jerusalem toward His crucifixion.
As I viewed that painful scene I thought, “What do I have to offer this God in the flesh if He were to walk by me like He did when He passed Ben-Hur?” Would I offer Him my books, my website, my blog? Would I offer Him how many times in the coming months I am speaking somewhere? Ben-Hur offered Jesus a cup of cold water to ease His suffering. I thought, “Where is my cup of cold water?
When Paul wrote to the Philippians about what truly matters in life he said, “ I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him” (Philippians 3:7-9). The things we do for and in the name of God are not worthless, they are simply worth less than we realize compared to knowing Jesus.
Jan and I are in the process of downsizing. I am not talking about our house. It is 1047 square feet. I am not talking about our lifestyle. It is already simple. What I am talking about are those things we are doing in the name of God. We are reeling some of them back in to take a second look. We want to make sure they are not things that get in the way of a simpler expression of our faith and our calling. We are “pressing on” as Paul said to something more that is really something less – something simple yet as profound as offering a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. It is not easy to press on when so many things compete for our time and our energy at the expense of offering a cup of cold water.
“If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded” (Matthew 10:42).