Have you ever tried to dig a hole to China? When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at the beach and every now and again I’d try to dig through the sand to the other side of the Earth. As you might have guessed, I never made it. Later in life I found out that had I dug directly through the center of the planet, I would have been flooded by the Indian Ocean just missing southwestern Australia (if I hadn’t been burnt to a crisp first!). Fortunately I didn’t have the time or wherewithal to dig deeper and deeper.
In college, on a spring break trip with Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia, a dear friend asked me a number of questions about my faith and relationship with God. As we discussed this more, I realized that I had been taking God for granted. As I dug deeper into my faith, I recognized that I had not fully appreciated the ways in which God had provided for me, protected me and loved me. Life before college hadn’t necessarily been smooth, but here I was, fully supported and fully loved.
Over the last twenty years I have been challenged on many occasions to dig deeper in a number of ways. I have been a Sunday School teacher for a very well educated adult class. With my wife, we took care of infants to toddlers in a church nursery for a number of years. (I don’t think any kids escaped on our watch.) I took on some local missions responsibilities and co-teaching a high school Sunday School class. At each step along the way, I was challenged to dig deeper. Friends new and old challenged my thinking about deep issues like salvation, having an eternal perspective, and how to interpret the Bible.
More recently, taking on Stewardship responsibilities on Session has forced me to do the deepest digging. And this digging hurts a little bit. Considering my own level of financial giving has been humbling. I have to admit that “giving out of abundance,” has not been a priority. Do I know that the money I receive every other week is not mine, that it’s the Lord’s? Yes. Do I know that the money I give to the church supports those in need? Yes. Have I been “giving until it hurts?” Far from it. I support the Church and a couple of international aid organizations. But, if I really search my heart, dig deep, and evaluate whether I could give more, I know that I can. And knowing that God will use my gifts to the benefit of those with physical and spiritual needs, I find great comfort in giving. I am amazed by all the great works of Ginter Park and have great hope that the church is going to transform lives in the community, Richmond City, and around the world.
As I reflect on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, I sense an invitation to dig deeper, to give more and to delight in the work that the Church and God will do. I hope you will, too.
“God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”
Andy Lacatell lives in Mechanicsville with his wife, son, and daughter. Andy grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, spending as much time on the beach as he could. A graduate of the University of Richmond with master’s degrees from VCU, Andy works for The Nature Conservancy.