Walnuts and Fire Insurance

January 16th, 2011

Every year about this time when I was little, my dad had a bowl full of mixed nuts. It was always the same wooden bowl, with holes in the middle for the nutcracker. Every winter, I would search the floor for that bowl. The floor? Yes. It’s like he was hiding them or something.They were usually on the floor next to “his chair,” or inside the old table my parents have had between their chairs for as long as I can remember.

Now let me tell you of my love for walnuts. I. LOVE. WALNUTS. No, no. I don’t think you heard me the first 2 times. I luuuuuhhhh…VVVVV. Walnuts. Maybe I am part squirrel. SQUIRREL?! Anyway, I would spend hours — okay, minutes, opening each of the walnuts in the bowl and eating the tiny pieces that I had to sometimes pry and rip out of the shells.

“That is so much work.” You’re right, it is. That is how much I love walnuts. I was willing to put in the work to get the pieces of amazing inside.

The other day I bought a bag of walnuts. I was so excited. I looooove walnuts! Yeah, yeah, we know. I got home and immediately opened and ate some of them. But these didn’t taste as awesome as I remembered them tasting when I lived at home… Why? They weren’t “bad” nuts. They came in a bag… the only difference — there were no shells.

I could reach over and pop one in my mouth at any time, without the physical work of cracking, pulling, prying. There was no anticipation. I didn’t have to wait. It just seemed too easy to have what has always been one of my favorite things in the world. Without the work and anticipation, it just didn’t give me the same satisfaction in the end.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

So many people I’ve talked to have said, “That’s it?” The only requirement is to believe in Christ as our Savior. That, too, seems far too easy. I think that’s a reason people shy away from Christianity. It’s just too easy, and humans are less satisfied with things they haven’t had to work to receive. Just a theory, I’m not sure. It certainly makes sense to me… But then again, some things make sense in my head, and my head only. #fact

Okay so being a Christian is like buying a bag of walnuts. Far too easy and far less satisfying to some. But what about the other side of the spectrum? Those who take advantage of how easy it is… Yes, humans love a challenge, but humans are also lazy. I realize I just contradicted my own words. I am going somewhere with this, I promise.

So many people take advantage of Christ’s death and resurrection. They believe, but that’s about as far as it gets. A Christian, but not a practicing Christian, I suppose is the best way to put it. I call this: investing in fire insurance. They use their faith simply to stay out of what I like to imagine as the most lonely, heartbreaking, painful of places.

“There are too many rules to be a Christian.” Yes, the Old Testament is full of rules. A large helping of Leviticus, anyone? Haha. I thought much the same about Christianity for a long time. Honestly, up until about a year and a half ago, I was convinced that God was trying to make life hard, by giving us a large set of rules. The most well known: the Ten Commandments. All of these are impossible to keep all the time. But a year ago, I was in a conversation with a pastor and he told me something that made so much sense. The commandments were put in place as protection. Just as parents make rules to protect their children, God did the same to protect His. Children need discipline. If they don’t get it, they are bound to get out of control. Connection made? Good.

“I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” I have heard it so many times. But consider this – if you were to stop feeding your body, what would happen to it? It would die, of course. Yes, of course. Faith works the same way. If you stop feeding it, it will wither away. It is great to be surrounded by people who encourage and support your faith, and pastors are an incredible source of spiritual food. Your body needs to be fed, feed your soul as well.

“I’m not good enough to be in church, you can’t imagine the awful things I have done.” I have only one thing to say about this thought: Church is not for the spiritually well, it is for the spiritually sick. And unless you are Christ Himself, you are spiritually sick. God so loved the world. Not just good people, not just Christians. He loves all, and gave His Son for all.

“It’s not fun.” Your idea of fun depends on your perspective. I have been to so many Christian events that are more fun than any party I have ever been to. Volleyball tournaments, outdoor games, concerts… I could list so many, as I grew up in church, and actually looked forward to these events.

“I don’t have time for it.” No. You don’t want to make time for it. If you want to have time for God, you will find it.

None of this was intended to make you feel guilty. It is far longer than I thought it would be, and not the direction I intended to push it when I sat down to write this tonight. But, it came out, and I am okay with that. Don’t just invest in fire insurance… get a fireproof suit, and take care of what’s inside that suit.

Take care, friends.


One Response to “Walnuts and Fire Insurance”

  1. Dave P. on January 18, 2011 2:28 pm

    Another great post, Jae!

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