Down here our umbrellas get a work-out. You carry one in each vehicle in case you get caught, and you keep one in the house as well. I have even known a few folks who keep one in the front closet at the meetinghouse. You just never know.
Yet as handy an invention as it is, umbrellas can be awkward. Trying to hold one on your shoulder with your chin while you lean over to unlock the chain on the gate without getting wet, is a neat trick I have yet to manage successfully. Something always gets wet—my head, my hand ands arms, my legs, or that part of me that sticks out when I bend over. At best it is clumsy. At worst it is hardly worth the trouble at all, so if it’s a light sprinkle, I just leave the umbrella in the car and get wet, but probably not any more wet than I would have gotten anyway. Imagine if you had to carry one all the time. What a nuisance!
Maybe that is why we so often do without our spiritual umbrellas. However, when I turn my life over to God, it is supposed to be just that—my life. Not just Sunday morning, not just moments of crisis, not just times when society and culture say I ought to act in a more spiritual way than usual. Christianity is an umbrella I carry everywhere. It covers every aspect of my life.
I am under its umbrella when I marry, when I raise my children, when I interact with my neighbors. That umbrella should be over me when I drive, when I shop, and when I talk with the repairman or the mechanic. I should be under its influence when the wait at the doctor’s office is long, when the order at the restaurant comes out not quite right, and when the bargaining starts at the car lot.
Having that umbrella over my head can be awkward at times. It might mean that I am occasionally taken advantage of. It might mean that my patience is sorely tested. It might mean that I must yield rights that my culture says I have the privilege to. In fact, I might even be ridiculed for carrying an umbrella in a place where no one else does—including a few card-carrying Umbrellians.
Living your life under that umbrella of Christianity has a lot of advantages though. An umbrella offers protection, but only if you keep it open. You can’t fold it up and leave it at home when it suits you, then expect it to automatically appear when you need it.
Do have your umbrella with you today? Is it open?
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…For you died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall you also with him be manifested in glory, Phil 1:27a; Col 3:3,4 .