The Parable of the Bags of Gold – Matthew 25:14-30
You know that guy who shows up and starts talking big about what he’s throwin down, but no one ever really sees any of it? As humans we all have a tendency to over exaggerate the experiences we have, some a bit more than others do. It comes from a need to belong, be accepted and garner attention. I love it when I get props for sticking a trick or when everyone laughs at my joke, of which both are rare occasions. It also comes from our infatuation with dazzling, grandiose pizzazz!
In about sixth grade, my younger brother and I were just learning to skateboard. We both started at the same time and were very competitive to see who could learn things faster. He learned how to flick a kickflip one day and was so stoked! The only problem was he had not learned to ollie yet. Nevertheless he persisted that if he practiced the kickflip enough, he could land it without wasting time learning to ollie. I made it my goal to learn to ollie first and I did. A few years later I could ollie a picnic table and my brother, well he quit skateboarding.
As we plan and do ministry, events, or even just go out and ride for the day, it’s our natural tendency to dream bigger than reality. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! However, when we do not master the basics we are likely to fail.
Geoffery Canada founded the Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization aimed to break generational poverty in Harlem, NY. The organization has recently been getting a lot of high-level press because of the organizations exemplary success. In response Geoffery said, “I’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years. Just now people have taken notice but I will continue to do the same thing for the next 20 years.” Great leaders like Geoffery Canada have learned that to be a champion you must champion the basics.
In order to do something well we need to be patiently available to the process without being preoccupied with dazzling, grandiose pizzazz! As we go out and be the light on the hill, it’s important to remember Jesus parable about being faithful in the little things. Maybe instead of being preoccupied with the next big outreach event, just go out and share Jesus with one person this week. Maybe buy just one person a coffee or hot chocolate. Remember that one homie who always talks a big game? Maybe just spend one day riding with him and let him know that he’s accepted, cared about and loved. Do the basics. Champion the basics!