School is out for the summer and my husband (The Cottage Schoolhouse’s Headmaster, Mark) will be the kids’ teacher this fall. I recently started a new job and I have to drive 35 miles each way to get there. My husband and I have talked a lot about the price of gas these past few weeks, but I LOVE the job. I’m so thankful to have the job. I looked for a long time and the Lord provided at an unexpected time, not just something I could do to help pay the bills, but something that is challenging and fun. My heart has just not been in it to complain. I started reading The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I am ashamed of any complaining. I keep the book in my locker at work and this weekend, I regret leaving it behind. On Friday night, all I was hearing and reading was railing against the price of gas and our presidential candidate choices and our current leaders…all of this right after reading that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was saddened that his German countrymen had made the fuhrer their idol and their god in the 1930’s. Bonhoeffer felt his work as a college professor had lost it’s meaning in the climate of the horror that was happening around him:
" In 1939, through arrangements made by Reinhold Niebuhr, he fled to the United States, but returned to Germany after a short stay. He believed it was necessary to suffer with his people if he was to be an effective minister after the war. The last two years of his life were spent in a Berlin prison. In 1945 he was executed for complicity in a plot on Hitler’s life." (Probe Ministries.com)
I can’t imagine the choices one would have to make in the climate of the times, but from prison, after his choices led him to imprisonment and execution, Bonhoeffer wrote letters on Christian ethics that were smuggled out of prison and published:
"The strength of Bonhoeffer’s Ethics lies not in its systematic resolution of problems facing the church, but rather the acknowledgment that life is complex and that all systems outside of humble submission to the Word of God are doomed to failure. As unsettling as Bonhoeffer’s Ethics may be, it is a refreshing call to the contemporary church to repent and return to a life characterized by prayer, the traditional mark of the early church." (Probe Ministries.com)
So, I dare you…I dare you to repent of all complaining and grumbling and return to a life of prayer and time in the Word of God. I dare you to not look to our earthly leaders for any kind of "change" or "salvation", but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Do we start every sentence with gratefulness to God? That would certainly change the words that come after, wouldn’t it? Instead, we tend to complain full throttle first, and then thank God…or say, "Well I’m thankful, BUT…" Have you ever done a lot of work on something and then someone comes along and sees only the errors or omissions? We cry out to God over all of of our life’s errors and omissions. I dare you to refuse to do this any longer. I dare you to repent, and thank and pray.