Nearly every hobby that involves equipment and some kind of discipline usually turns into a virtual god. I have hobbies, so I am not against them, but they can easily suck up time and dollars. Something happens, however, when a person is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, because God’s love challenges self-centered motivations. Sometimes He tempers them; sometimes He completely changes them. It depends a lot on how high a pedestal we have used to place our hobby. Here is a living example:
We started with a little telescope 12 years ago. That grew to an array of equipment. At the decision time to get more telescope we decided to stay mobile in order to teach others the basic skies. That began a path of a different sort. After a few years we were collecting equipment and reshaping it for use overseas, where most teachers and people have never seen a binocular, much less a telescope. Then we had to write a course about observing from a Biblical view, because there were none that were given away freely. Our first experience setting things up was in Uganda. You can see this in the first picture.
The path led to the Philippines, where we set up kits and trained teachers from two different school/community systems. Now they are sketching the heavens and getting familiar enough with equipment to confidently teach that “the heavens declare the glory of God” as we are.
Two nights ago I grabbed a little refractor and set it up for 30 children and 10 adults. It was an impromptu occasion, but it does not take long to draw a crowd. They watched the “orange” full moon rise through the tropical clouds. I had to lift the smallest children to the little eye piece because they could not reach it. Each child had to answer two questions when they got to the scope: the length of the moon cycle and the stage of the moon they were looking at. As they hung around the scope I had a chance to talk to them about the wonder of God, who created such magnificence to discover and study. what we say tends to stick, because while we are saying it, they are seeing it for themselves.
Now my other telescopes and little observatory are home, and we will not see it for awhile. We will probably never have a big “light eating” telescope. The price of one with a bit more ancilliary equipment would cost 3 trips to the Philippines or 6 trips to Uganda…each one long enough to train others, share about my Lord who made it all possible, and leave stuff so someone else can begin to teach the same thing.
So, how to do you treat your hobbies? Are they a god of sorts, or are they used by God? But go further….do you have a big screen TV? The difference between a big one and a modest one is one trip to help others and do as we do. One could do the same thing with choice of house, entertainment cost, etc. For some people, family is the hobby. Now families are good, but if you teach your children they are the center of all life, and everything you get and develop is for that purpose, where do they see the parent serve God or do they? Everything we touch or do, if Christ is inside, is meant to flavor everything, just like the seasoning in a soup.
So if you know the One who made it all and you know He calls us to be like Him, it can change how life is spent. It is truly been a life changer for us during our brief decades, but one with no regrets and lots of effects. Why don’t you consider the same path? Or, if you really don’t know the Creator God that made all of this and gives you life, why don’t you consider His claims and His statements.
Matthew 25:31-46 is worth a ‘read’ or the Gospel of Mark if you have never opened a Bible before.
For more information: see the Philippine or Uganda reports under Records, then Ministry Reports, at http://www.christworksministries.org.
…from the Philippines, January 2013…