Why we work hard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, SO THAT he will have something to share with one who has need." -Ephesians 4:28

Why do we work hard? Why should we work hard and save our money?

We work hard and we are not lazy or stealing SO THAT we have money and resources to help those in need. We also work hard to steward and save our money for these same purposes. It is very oppositional to our American Dream and normal American perspective of money and gain.

Here in scripture we are told that we work hard FOR the opportunity to share what we get. This, for me, requires a check to my motivation and my worry.

Am I motivated to work hard that I may earn enough to be able to share and serve others OR do I work hard that I may earn enough to be able to say I've earned enough?

What worries me most when it comes to my work and my gain? Why am I worried in the times when funds are low? Am I worried because it means I will be unable to then give to those in need and share what I have. OR  Am I really worried because once more it is going to mean I cannot financially sustain the lifestyle and pleasures I have built for myself?

If I worried more about the former than the latter, somehow I think funds would be low on a much rarer occasion.

Break down the warrior

money I need constant reminders of God's upside-down kingdom. Even I, a selfish man, oddly enjoy being reminded of God's kingdom, which strengthens the stumbler and breaks down the warrior. There is still a weaker side of me, which is relieved to know a God who lifts the poor and needy from the ash heap and hurls them into TBN-like chairs of gold like princes. Being reminded of that kind of kingdom with God's kind of justice makes me want to be needy. Because God sends poverty and wealth . He humbles and exalts. But he exalts the poor and humbles and breaks the wealthy and self-righteous.

God's kingdom lifts up the poor and breaks down the wealthy and self-righteous. I can only pray that God may break me down where needed, that I may be poor and lifted up some day.

1 Samuel 2:4-5, 7, 9

"The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

It is not by strength that one prevails.

How to Park at CSUS

I am a college pastor in Sacramento, and a majority of my students attend Sacramento State. I have come to discover there is a list of things every college student complains about, regardless of which school they attend: tuition, the food, the rules, and parking.

Most college pastors spend a decent amount of time on campus to hang out with their students, and I like to do this from time to time...if it weren't for the horrific parking situation. Allow me to elaborate on my experience.

STEP ONE Park in the 30 minute parking spaces. There are a few precursory steps before actually parking, so you can park for free in 30 minute parking while you run these quick errands.

STEP TWO - ATM Parking is going to eventually cost me $6 for the day, and who really carries cash any more aside from your grandmother? So I will need to go to the ATM on campus to get out cash. Naturally, you are only allowed to get cash in increments of 20.

I know what you're thinking; "But you only need $6." Yeah, I get it! What's more, the parking machine only takes exact change. So unless I want to make a $14 donation to California State University Sacramento, I now need to break my 20 to get exact change.

STEP THREE - Coffee Shop As expected, I will be getting coffee eventually. It may as well be now. I have to order my medium americano from one of the 75 Java Cities on campus in order to get my coffee AND break my 20 so I can pay my $6 parking fee.

If you're counting at home, my visit to campus has costs me nearly $8 for the price of parking plus americano.

STEP FOUR - Parking Machine The parking machine is located on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. You round your way up the garage to park (at your risk) in the flow of inattentive traffic with your hazards on while you pay for your parking pass. Ignoring the honks and near collisions, you collect your pass and prepare for the parking spot search.

STEP FIVE - Parking Garage Can you imagine a place where you drive an eternal circle while dodging vehicles and pedestrians who pay no mind to your existence? This is the reality of the CSUS parking garage. I have have driven the endless circles for nearly an hour and a half at busy times looking for a spot that never opens.

I am generally uncomfortable with the often necessary "stalking" approach for parking. This is the discovery of a solitary student walking in a fashion which makes you wonder, "Is he on his way to his car?" You drive slowly behind him as he walks, hoping not to creep him out in any way. If he is a decent human being, he will notice you are drafting him and will motion to you that he is NOT in fact walking to his car. But if he is typical, he will let you follow him for several minutes to the stairs in the parking garage where he leaves to go to class. SON OF A....!!!

You await the break in class times when enough people are leaving to find that spot accompanied by gleams of light and cozy chorale music. Alas! I am parked!

My americano is not lukewarm, and I've spent nearly 2 hours preparing and looking for a spot, but the opportunity to hang out with my students on campus is worth every second.