Thursday, July 1, 2010


Blurry eyed email checking while sipping strong coffee has become my morning ritual in school. Its become a kind of sacred time when I get to gather myself, meditate and mentally stretch before the teaching day begins. The exception that impedes on this routine is Thursday morning library duty; at this time I get baptism of fire into the day watching over a crowd of hyperactive children, who interestingly appear to all be morning people.

Sometimes when I’m more in the humour for it I engage with games and conversation, but on this partiular Thursday I took a seat by the librarians desk and tried to block out the noise around me. Sentimental people would say there are few things more beautiful than the bubbling sound of children playing, those people obiviously don’t do library duty before 8am.

I propped my head onto my hands, sighed and closed my eyes. The final month of the year is always the toughest; teaching is such a soul consuming job and by this stage in the year all energy is spent, there is a feeling of having nothing left to give.

 “Teeaccheerrr” a little voice whispered in my ear. I recognised the long drawn out sounds and persuasive intonation to be that of a Korean english speaker. Shaking my head to clear the fuzziness, I turned to face the voice to be met by one of our reception children’s hopeful face.

 “Mhmmm” I responded.

“Could I have one piece of paper”. It struck me as cute that she specified one. 

“Sure...” I mumured while handing a crisp white sheet that seemed bright with the expectantancy of being a canvas for a child’s masterpiece.

The child wandered back to a table and started to work with a purple crayon. 

"No running in the library" I tried my best commanding voice hoping that it might produce a instant response. I watched as the two boys dived headfirst into the reading bean bags, at least they weren't running anymore. Sighing I rested my head back in my hands and gently breathed all the air out of my lungs, before sucking it back in to maximum capacity. "5 days", I mentally encouraged myself. "5 more days, then... I can rest."

 “Ms McCullough” a different voice punctured my daze like a finger bursting a bubble.

“Uh huh“ I grunted not opening my eyes this time.

“Could I have one piece of paper”

“Ok ... here you go..” I responded, wondering who taught them to speak like this requesting one piece of paper rather than ‘a’ piece of paper. The words sounded odd in my ears.

I look around to see if there was going to be any more requests. I could see another reception child watching the one who had just left me, she spotted the paper and traced the steps back to the source. Catching my eye she ran over,

“Good morning Ms McCullough” she sang.

“Would you like some paper” I pre-empted her.

“Yes please, can I have one piece”.

I passed her a bunch of paper instead, expecting that she would take it to the table where the others were drawing to share with any other budding artists. But instead she took the bunch of paper and went and sat down with it, keeping it to herself.

 “Ruby” I called her back to me. 

“How about I give you this bunch of paper and then you can give it out to the others who don’t have any”

Her face lit up like a candle at the prospect of this great responsibilty. She straightened herself and took the paper back towards the desk, running to the others enthusiastically giving out the paper to anyone that dared to look in her direction.

As I watched her I sensed the presense of the Holy Spirit and I knew He was speaking to my soul... I strained my Spirit to listen.

 “Its more blessed to give than to recieve” He prompted.

As I watched her run from child to child offering them paper I saw the correlation between this and the Kingdom of Heaven. God gives each of us some things more abundantly than other people...  monetarily, physically, emotionally, spiritually but in each it was never intended to just be a gift for us but to be shared, each’s gift is different so that we learn to need eachother.

As the Jews were a blessed people and gentiles knew that God was with them because of that – so I believe, He remains the same today. He desires to bless us beyond what we ask for, He desires us to persue Him for life in its fullness, but He does not bless us simply to privledge us just to bless us above others or to please ourselves by hording treasure. As I watched Ruby’s job I could see blessings increase in their beauty and significance as they are shared.

A few days later I was talking with someone about the prosperity gospel. They were saying that they couldn’t find the “health and wealth” teaching in any of Jesus teachings. I listened and let the words marinate, not yet having an opinion I wanted to see what He would teach me about this.  Abba reminded me of Ruby.

“What if you had only given her what she asked for... one piece of paper... the other children would not have received. But you gave her the position of steward to bless her and others.”

 Perhaps as such, is in the Kingdom. For those who have been blessed with education, good jobs and positions of authority we should not despise what we have been given but steward it. Does it help the poor for us to join them, living with them on the streets? Does it help them any more than if we were to horde our treasure? What if we were to choose to live simply so that we can choose to develop a spirit of generosity and not a spirit of hording; stewarding the blessings that have been placed in our lives so that we can be a pipe through which God funnels His love and provision through. So it is also with those who have been blessed in other ways – our gifts are for us to share.

Bethel often talks about how God wants to bless us and wants to heal us. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, we must dig deep for its treasures and release them here on earth, "your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven". In Heaven there was no sickness and there was no want. As Paul said, he learned to live with everything and nothing. Its not what we have or don’t, but rather the condition of our hearts to learn to sow generously everything at our fingertips. 

Like any teaching, we must live by His voice in our own lives rather than simply by prinipal. There may be seasons where He calls you to give it all away to the poor, because He knows that in giving something happens in our heart, our priorities change. There is a longing in my heart to be a person who makes good choices with the favour that has been given in my life. To be a channel through which the riches of the kindgom can be dispersed to those in need, to allow God to bless my life and yet sow it all back into His kingdom. To not be bucket that collects blessings but to be a sprinkler that showers them out on others.