Ivanka Trump has made an amazing statement of her faith – by moving into a new neighborhood. With her husband Jared Kushner, Ivanka has moved to a new home in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood. It is not the home itself, but its precise location on Tracy Place NW Street, that makes the statement. And you won’t believe why she picked that location.
As Orthodox Jews who observe the Sabbath each Saturday, Ivanka and Jared abstain from driving, riding buses or trains, or using electronics. Hence, they had to pick a house within walking distance of a synagogue. And their synagogue of choice is Kesher Israel, about 1/2 mile from their new home, putting it within walking distance.
When I was a child, like everyone else, I walked 100 miles to school every day. But I rode the bus to church. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I walked a zillion miles in the mall. But I drive my car when it’s time for church. When I’m at the beach, I walk for miles in the hot sand in search of yet another shell. But I drive my car when it’s time for church.
A good measure of how much you love someplace is how far you are willing to walk in order to get there. So I applaud Ivanka and Jared. Not only are they willing to walk 1/2 mile to express their faith and worship their God – they let their worship dictate where they will live.
Rather than making worship a part of their lives, they have made their lives a part of their worship.
Bryant McGill said, “The problem with self-made men is that they worship their creator.” Ivanka and Jared have reminded us that God-made men worship their Creator – whether it is convenient or not.
We live in a day when little league, dance class, and trips to the beach take clear priority over going to church. It is assumed that when soccer conflicts with Sunday worship, our kids will bow before the net rather than the cross. We don’t think twice about missing church. The most active church members are the ones who drive their comfortable air-conditioned cars to church twice a month.
Most of us complain if we don’t get a good spot in the parking lot when we pull into church. God forbid we should have to walk across an entire parking lot to worship God.
So the next time you gripe about having to walk across a parking lot for Jesus, think of Ivanka and Jared – walking across a subdivision.
Very few of us would even think about including church and worship in the equation as we find a new home. Even fewer of us would walk 1/2 mile to get to church. And we wonder why a watching world is not so impressed with the passion of our faith.