And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)
Several years ago, before horses and glass kilns, my passion was growing roses. Before husband took the tractor and plowed it under because my interest in other things created a stand of tall weeds with a few dead or dying bushes mixed in, I had a rose garden that was the envy of my friends and neighbors. With fifty bushes to tend, I spent most of every weekend and some evenings after work, pruning, weeding, fertilizing and watering. In return, I could go out at any time and pick several dozen multicolored and fragrant blooms to enjoy or give away. People called to ask for bouquets for special events, and I was always happy to oblige. I took them to hospitals or funerals, to sick beds or to offices. Anywhere someone needed a little encouragement. I loved growing roses and the ministry they afforded me. Now, instead of buying fertilizer, I buy horse feed, and for a while, before glass art, I spent all my money on tack and horse supplies. Though I still ride and have my horse to maintain, in the last few years, my glass hobby consumes my spending. Instead of horse catalogues to tempt me, there are e-mails about specials from the glass shop. Interests change. And no one can ever say I do things halfway. It seems to be all or nothing with me. Yesterday, I had to go to Wimauma to buy a horse supplement that I usually order from the Internet, but I wanted to save on shipping. Wimauma was the closest place I could find it. I drove from Sun City Center along 674 towards the tiny town named for the three daughters of its founder, Wilma, Maude and Mary, and passed a house on a lake with the front yard full of rose bushes. There were hundreds of bushes towering six feet high and loaded with blooms. I had to turn around and go back and just sit there for a few minutes to absorb the amazing color and beauty. It made me want to stop at a nursery and buy some rose bushes and start my garden again. Instead, I went to the store and bought some diapers. I have a dream that my church will be able to raise 30,000 diapers for the Florida Baptist Children’s Home. That is what it takes to care for the children in their international and state ministries each month. While I am not completely setting aside my interests in horseback riding and glass fusing, my new concern for the Malnutrition Center in Guatemala has tempered those efforts. Roses and diapers couldn’t any more different, but they have something in common. Once upon a time, I gave bouquets of roses as a ministry. Now, I collect diapers. It made me think of the verses above. Whatever you do, whether it is a hobby or a job, do it unto the Lord. That’s when something ordinary becomes a passion that can change the world.