He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work, he said, ‘until I come back.'”
Luke 19: 12-13
On December 1st, I decided to read through the book of Luke–one chapter a day. Somehow for me the Gospels often get skipped over for other things–the Psalms, Proverbs, the prophetic books–but Luke has felt like balm to my soul all month long.
Chapter 19 ends with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, knowing he was marching to His death. Such a powerful scene to picture. But what stood out to me in chapter 19 more than anything was the parable just before the entry to Jerusalem: the Parable of the Ten Minas. (Luke 19: 11-27)
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More than standing out to me, I was thoroughly convicted by it.
I recommend reading the whole thing, but in a nutshell, the parable is this:
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- a noble man about to be anointed King (Jesus) goes away, but first gives 10 of his servants 10 minas to “put to work” until he returns
- A mina is 1/60 of a talent–an ancient unit of measuring currency
- 7 of the 10 condemn the name of the king, denounce his reign as king, and do their own thing
- 1 servant invests his 10 minas wisely and earns a lot back in return
- 1 servant invests well too and earns less back, but still a profit
- And the last servant hides his money, does nothing with it
The parable focuses on the third servant. The first two are ultimately blessed immensely and put in charge over multiple cities. The other 7 who swore off the king were ultimately killed–but that third servant. He’s the one who opened my eyes.
The Unfaithful Servant
The unfaithful servant took the small amount from the king and hoarded it for himself. He kept it all for himself. Took no risks. Played it safe.
He thinks he’s doing the right thing because he doesn’t want to lose what little amount he has.
But he sorely deceives himself.
He fails to realize that everything he has has been given to him from God–and can be taken in an instant if not used well.
We can let fears, worries, shame, excuses keep us from doing God’s will. But whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, everything we’ve been given is from God and He hasn’t called us to hide it for ourselves–or for our own gain, our own legacies.
He calls us to trust Him. To be faithful. And to step out in confidence, knowing whom we belong to.
For months I have struggled with social media. To be perfectly honest, I would love to delete it all. Regain the time and distraction and lack of focus it causes. We all know it’s designed to addict us, distract us, lull us to sleep.
I’ve prayed for months for a clear direction with social media.
The recent release of Instagram’s new Terms + Conditions made me certain this was my answer. But it didn’t feel settled–didn’t feel like a true answer from God. So for now, I’m still there.
And then I read the parable of the ten minas.
2020 has awoken many of us in many ways. I will include myself among the awoken.
God’s sovereignty had become a forgotten commodity. Prayers few and far between. Bible, a subject in our homeschool. 2020 has reminded me all of this is at my fingertips–what will I do with my 10 minas?
For now, I’m supposed to say things that make me uncomfortable to say. I’d rather talk about the bathroom project we’re working on, show you my design board. Read aloud choices are more my comfort level here.
But that feels like hiding right now.
Not my bathroom design board
Last Friday, I shared a storybook Vera had written on Instagram stories. A stack of copy paper holding the gripping tale of a missing Christmas stocking. Evidence that we need to work on the spelling of “as” having only ONE “s.”
Surprisingly, her sweet little book was flagged by the Big Tech overlords. Apparently when you mix your uppercase letters and lowercase letters when spelling the word “could,” the bots that constantly scan our content for dangerous rhetoric, think you’re trying to spew out misinformation about COVID-19.
The post was flagged so fast, like maybe 10 seconds.
How is it that a media giant like Instagram can scan their millions of users’ stories for misinformation on COVID, but have such trouble removing the 1000s of users that use the app to either peddle child porn or look for it for their own consumption? How?
And if the flagging of storybooks, the censoring of pages, the removal of information really is for our own health and safety, why can’t they remove users whose sole purpose of using the app is to harm children?
One must ask the question: is it really about health and safety?
And does it really matter if we question it? Does it really matter if we bob our heads along with the masses, cancel our holidays, stop hugging our parents, and seeing our friends?
Should we question or should we listen?
I say we question and here’s why:
Our children are watching
All of us have been given a handful of mina. Your handful looks different than mine. Mine looks different than yours.
But if you’re a regular reader of mine, chances are you have children. And there’s a good chance you homeschool those children.
Our children don’t actually belong to us, they are God’s, but yes, they have been entrusted to us–our mina.
Over these last ten months, I have seen children that were a big part of our lives–friends that were like my own children–become unrecognizable. The terror of the pandemic, trickled down from their parents has paralyzed them with fear. They are not the same kids as they were before. Barely leaving their house–even for a walk around the block.
There are children I know who have been medicated because they can’t sit still for distance learning. Others who have become addicted to their screens, barely coming up for air–when 10 months ago, they loved playing outside with friends.
What are we showing our kids by our own reactions to the chaos of 2020? Are we using our own critical thinking? Or are we falling into line obediently? Are we asking any questions at all? Or are we nodding along with the constant barrage of dooms day narrative and holing our kids up, instilling our own fears in them?
Homeschoolers, by definition, are boat-rockers
We decided to not entrust the school system to educate our kids. We have thought outside the box, forge our own path.
Homeschoolers are a community of free-thinkers. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all.
Are we carrying over that skepticism to the events of this year too?
Have we shown our kids to think critically?
Or have we been lulled to sleep by our scrolling fingers and Netflix and refused to think for ourselves?
What will we do with our mina?
I will lose readers for saying the unpopular things:
- that we should use our own critical thinking and do what is best for our families, regardless of what the State says
- that there is more than one smart doctor in the US
- and that there are consequences to filling children with fear
My purpose for this article isn’t to tell you what to think, but to think.
About why NYC restaurants are shuttered, but SNL actors can do their thing, maskless, no less.
Or why it’s not ok for us to visit our families for holidays, but many politicians did just that for Thanksgiving.
Last weekend, Sophia and I went to the mall. It was packed. The line for Auntie Ann’s pretzels was 30+ long, but all the mall restaurants were closed down. Why?
We’ve all been given our handful of mina– our children, gifts, talents. You know what God has gifted to you. Someday we’ll have to show Him what we did with them. I hope we all have plenty of reward to give Him back in return.
I firmly believe that we can– if we step out and trust Him.
And for the record, here is the bathroom design board:
I’m still here for the read aloud ideas. Just expanding. Click HERE for a really fun Christmas Eve idea–have you heard of Jolabokaflod? See? Fun!