Do You Feel Dull?

One of the things that irritates our 27 year old son Seth (with Down Syndrome) is when his beard grows out!  Although he's far more capable of growing a full beard than I ever have been or ever will be, he simply doesn't like that stuff on his face.  So we have to shave ... it's really not something he can do by himself very well so I'm glad to help.  And though he could shave every day (maybe twice a day) I usually help him with this every 2-3 days.  Anything beyond that gets him asking about it.

Did you know the razor / shaving blade industry here in America is around 2.3 billion dollars?  That's a lot of money ... but I guess when those razors get dull so quickly you have to constantly keep buying new ones ... nobody likes to shave with a dull razor!

Interesting fact I learned a few years ago about why razor blades dull so quickly.  It's NOT from being used to shave one's beard, rather it's the moisture that causes a slight rust/corrosion on the blade that makes it feel so dull.  So if you learn to take care of your blade (dry it after each use or) you can use it over and over again for months without a problem.  I've had razors that I've used for 6-8 months with no problem.  So again, use isn't what really dulls it, improper maintenance is the culprit.

I run across a number of folks, professing Christians, who describe their spiritual life as "dull" and lacking.  As I explore that with them they often contend that they're "burned out," too busy, or overworked and the solution, at least in terms of spiritual and church life, is to cut back and move toward less involvement, activity, and ministry.  And while I surely can't pretend to know exactly what all is going on in the lives of other people, I do believe that many of us who probably feel "dulled" by life aren't feeling that way because we're simply too busy and need to cut back on church involvement but rather because we've improperly maintained ourselves.  To summarize - being involved in and busy with ministry isn't the primary thing that takes away our joy ... rather poor care of our heart is the problem!

So how can we better care for our hearts?  Consider the means of grace God has given us - preaching of the Word, sacrament, and prayer.  Consider whether or not you're sufficiently and consistently feeding yourself from the Scripture.  Consider whether or not you're proclaiming the Gospel to your heart every day - that you're a sinner deserving nothing other than God's wrath but that God, in His grace, has saved you through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Consider whether or not you're involved in the lives of other people who can encourage, support, challenge, and nurture you in the Gospel.  Consider whether or not you're clinging to idols that are sapping your strength and joy. 

And lastly consider whether or not you are investing yourself in the lives of others as you vigorously engage in ministry, mission, and service.  One of the upside-down truths of God's Kingdom is that doing something that we fear will cause us exhaustion (ministry) is actually something that can and will refresh, invigorate, and energize us as children of God.  So are you interested in saving your life? ... lose it as you take up your cross and follow Christ.  Don't be afraid to get involved, even deeply involved, in ministry.  Just please make sure you're caring for your heart as you apply the Gospel to it each and every day.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."   (Matt 16:24-25)