Fall is here. This past weekend I got some initiative, and built a fire pit on my backyard. I'm proud of myself that I built it, and it has stayed together! And all in all, it looks pretty good. We had our first fire last evening, after heavy rains all day. It was tough to get the fire started, with some damp wood, but that's what half a bottle of lighter fluid is for, right?
Seriously though, I had contemplated on whether to build this fire pit or not. Honestly-I did not want to spend the money on it. There are so many things Leslie and I could have spent the small sum of money we did on. However, I felt as though this was a worthy investment. Why?
This past year I have had the honor to teach a group of young married couples at Second Baptist Church. We have opened the scriptures. I have challenged them and myself to take the Gospel to the exact place God has placed me in. Where do I spend most of my time? In my home. I'm thankful that God has given us a home. I am convicted it needs to be used for the Kingdom. I believe every follower of Jesus has this context that God has given them to serve and love in the name of Christ.
I have encouraged the group of young married couples to connect with their neighbors, for the sake of the Gospel. To love them, care for them, and to "Love your neighbor as yourself". I have gotten to connect to a few people on my street, however, we have lived in our house for almost 10 months, and I had not had one conversation with the couple that lives NEXT DOOR. Confession time. :) Even though I had made a few efforts, some hypocrisy was bleeding through, and it had to be squashed.
Friday afternoon (my usual day off) I was outside doing some lawn work. Out pops the husband of said couple from his garage. I connected with him, and literally apologized for not connecting with him sooner. He was of course gracious and probably never thought about it. However that's not good enough for me. I need to love my neighbor as myself. I wasn't doing my job.
So how does a fire pit play into all of this? Well, my goal is to use the modest little fire pit I built to build community in my neighborhood. To hopefully bring neighbors together (ourselves included) who otherwise would just pull into their garage and close the blinds. Leslie and I went to Lowe's friday night, and bought the materials for this fire pit, and i built it that night. No more talking about it-there has to be some urgency.
Leslie and I literally could have used the resources we spent on building this fire pit on something more pressing. However, in our estimation, this might be more pressing than anything we could conceive. We want to be Godly neighbors, and show Christ to our community.
For The Glory Of God.
Matthew is 34 years old and currently lives in St Louis, Missouri with his wife Leslie. He serves as the Associate Pastor at The Groves Church, in Webster Groves, Missouri.