The Silo Christian

If you’re from the heartland, or even if you’ve ever been on a farm you’ll probably get the silo reference (if not see below). Silos are used to store grain. They are solitary and bound to one place or farm by design. They are singular and stand over the landscape set apart from their surroundings.

Our own habits and mannerism can be a sort of silo. Unless we are challenged or have an interest in something other than what we find comfortable and normal we will tend to, in our own way, be a kind of silo. The favorite American silo has to be busyness and individuality. Now taken in their positives these aren’t bad things. A sense of industry and productivity and the dignity that comes from meaningful work and a sense of self can be healthy, but like many things in disproportion they can be deadly.

How many of us catch ourselves saying “I would love to do that, if only I had time.” Even the notion of vacation follows this logic. We work hard so we can have our ‘dream’ vacation, where all our hopes and dreams can be fulfilled over a 10-day period.

Time, the currency by which we could do more. Time, the currency by which we put off our hopes and desires.

Is it really the case that what we need is more time? Would lengthening hours help us become more generous, intentional, fulfilled, and charitable people of God?

Busyness becomes the foil for why we don’t engage with certain people, why we opt out of certain commitments, and why we seek the sorts of leisure time that will help us feel less busy, less hectic, and to some degree less purposeless.

The truth is our siloedness our busyness or favorite form of leisure can reveal a sort of disorderedness that we’d rather not face. I’m not saying leisure and less things to do aren’t needed or that we should just opt-in for endless activity,  what I am saying is that our sense of busyness and hurriedness and lack of attentiveness reveals a sort of heart issue when it comes to ordinary Christian life.

Let’s take a look at storing up our treasures a fresh. This teaching comes right after the Lord’s prayer in Matthew.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

(Matthew 6:19-24 ESV)

How many of us read this passage and immediately want to spiritualize it? We hear Jesus saying don’t store up treasures on earth, and we think he means don’t engage with the world, instead be spiritual. And when we think of spiritual we think … pray more, study the bible more, spend time with God more. Those are all fine things, but they are also self-indulgent as though by our own healthy spiritual practices we will feel more spiritual and more heavenly minded. Don’t miss hear me. Spiritual disciplines and practices like spending time with the Lord are good and healthy, so is worship, study, reflection, but those can’t be disconnected from action, embodied living.

In other word don’t put your heart and mind on earthly ways of doing right and being successful (attaining a certain level of income, putting a certain level of living, education, or career attainment as a must), but put your heart on embodying the heavenly way, the way of Jesus on earth (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). In all your relating, in your day to day work, in your marriage, with your kids practice the heavenly attributes. Are your relationships ruled by peace? Is your love and eagerness covered in patience? Is your faithfulness and zeal gentle towards others? Do you have joy that comes from doing your Father’s work on earth as it is in heaven.

My point here is that our Christian walk, the Christian way is just that it’s an embodied discipline that impacts all areas of our life. It’s beyond the idea that there is such a thing as business as missions, or teaching as missions, instead all of life is the mission. Whatever you find yourself doing or being or whatever stage you are at in life, live life to the glory of God. Take the time to cultivate the virtue necessary to develop a Christian vision for your life and work. Trust in Jesus, to show you the way to make your day to day embodied with the way, the truth, and the life. Reflect the Son, knowing that life does not depend on you, but on the one who watches over you. The idea is to spur you on to make you more accurately reflect the love God has already given to you through his Spirit in Christ Jesus trusting in His ability to do the necessary work in your life, in your job, in your home and taking the necessary steps to reflect that way in all you do.

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