11 February 2010
Last week, a family in my church suffered a total loss to their home due to an overnight fire. Like most of us, they did not keep good records of their possessions and in the aftermath of the fire, were finding it hard to move forward with making insurance claims that would help restore them back to some sense of normalcy. As a result of this calamity, a friend of mine from church, who works for FEMA, sent out an email admonishing everyone that we should take inventory of our homes and gave a checklist of how we could start the process. (If you want a copy of this checklist, let me know and I’ll get it to you – good useful information for every responsible adult to have, know and implement). I am a packrat, so this is a daunting task to put on my to-do list – but it must be done. Maybe this weekend – on Valentine’s Day. (hahaha)
Today I began reading the book of Numbers in the Bible. The book starts out with God commanding Moses to take a census of the people. In other words, to take “inventory” of who was in the camp. This would enable Moses to know the number of troops he had in case of war or conflict – and because God divided the camp up into clans and tribes, Moses also knew who was where within the camp. Moses was commanded only to count and record the names of young men (20 and older) who were able to go to war. The number came to over 600,000 men. Can you IMAGINE how tedious and boring that job was?
God instructed the people of Israel to do the tedious work of taking a census so that they could capture the bigger picture. When our daily tasks seem dull or tedious, identifying the purpose and importance of our work can breathe new life into an otherwise boring job. Just as Moses needed to know the number of men available for duty in order to do God’s work, so also we need to take inventory of our resources. Setting aside time to take a “census” of all you have – your possessions, relationships, spiritual condition, use of time, goals – will help you serve God more effectively and prevent the boredom that often accompanies tedious tasks. (Touchpoint Bible, p. 117)
I love when God “confirms” things for me. What I keep hearing Him tell me is that I need to stop and take inventory - of my life, my relationships, my spiritual walk. I desire to be within His will at all times (not always successful at doing it, but I am striving to that end). Maybe you need to stop and do this too. Let’s encourage and support each other as we move forward to this end.
By the way, the U.S. government will be “taking inventory” as well. You may have seen the commercials. This year, I believe beginning later this month, the government will be taking a census of the American people. I hope you will participate and be counted. Another tedious, boring task: to fill out the questionnaire or answer the questions posed. (Do they still have census takers that come to your house to ask the questions? I don’t know.) Either way, I hope you will stand up and be counted. It is important. Just a short public service announcement.