Frugality comes in many shapes and forms. When asked to define a frugal person, most people envision a person they knew at one point in their life. For some of us, this might be a Mother or Father. Others a sibling. A few will remember a neighbor. And a select group will point to themselves.
In an exercise I created for a class, we wrote on a white board every name we could think of for Simple Living. Over 200 words were generated and we then separated them out into 5 categories one of which was Money. Within that, words like Tightwad, Thrifty, Careful, Miserly, Penny Pincher, and of course Frugal were brought forward.
As I prepare this month’s article, I am working on the 2014 maintenance budget projections for our Church. Last year, a document was generated that projected what would be needed for 2013 and the 4 years beyond that. This year will be the same, just moving forward another year.
Several things on “the list” accelerated in importance and what was thought to be a year 3 or 4 item, is a “NOW” situation. Others thought to be critical for this year were for one reason or another downgraded in priority or importance.
It is an interesting way to get a feel for how our Church lives and breathes. I find myself praying for certain weather conditions. I pray that designers and engineers knew what they were doing when they built this place. I pray for the volunteers, trades people, and the technicians that make repairs. And I pray that good judgment and intelligence will guide future decisions as to how we go about taking care of our facilities.
It is probably a bit arrogant to think that my prayer for a certain temperature, just the right amount of snow, or rain at the right time will be answered. Someone on the other side of town is probably praying the exact opposite. What is God to do? Pick a favorite? I don’t think so. But yet I pray.
Taking care of our church property is a continual exercise in Simple Living. We all want to be the best Stewards of God’s gifts. We want to use global thinking even on a local decision. We want to be Careful, and Thrifty. We want to pinch pennies and to be considered Frugal yet we desire quality and lasting value. Because if not, we are viewed by others as wasteful and thoughtless.
The other categories that were on the Simple Living word list? Environmental. Social Justice. Health & Relationships. And Faith. It is a lot to think about as you go about your day. Come to my Tuesday classes if you what to explore more.
I am asking you to pray for our Church members and both campus. To pray for continued blessings and strength for all who come through our doors or are touched by our mission and ministry. Pray that we can continue to have beautiful grounds and landscaping, amazing gardens, and well maintained buildings that invite people to explore a worship service and to learn about us Methodists. Pray that the roofs do not leak. Pray the heat works this winter. Pray that if anything does need to be fixed, we will know what to do and have the ability to do it.
I have faith that we will be provided with what we need. It might not always be what is wanted, but it will be what we need. I am going to get back to the number crunching now… I will try to do two things: Be frugal with our gifts, and keep the above in my thoughts.