I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
A new year dawns and you likely are either skeptical anything great will come out of this two-year battle against this pandemic, or you are counting on something great to come from all the new research and break-throughs in medicine that may help. Some will celebrate the hopefulness of 'building back' our country again, while others will bemoan the fact they don't like the present political policies. There will be families enthused about their commitment to eat right, while others will find exercise to be the ticket on their 'resolution playlist' this year. Regardless of where you are right now, what resolutions you have made, or how chaotic you think things are, one thing we are all called to do: WALK, maybe even RUN. We are all entering into a 'new day' together. Whatever comes, we WALK and RUN together. Don't be a lone wolf. Partner with someone today to help you not only WALK, but learn how to RUN on the road God has called you to travel.
Fits and starts - pretty much describes every New Year's resolution everywhere. What we lack is the 'steadiness' part. We aren't going to overcome this pandemic with fits and starts - we all need to be rowing in the same direction. We aren't going to get anywhere toward climate change alone - it takes a village. We won't impact our country's infrastructure with some magic bill passed by Congress - we all need to do whatever part we can to make our country great again. These things are all the 'news-worthy' stuff we hear about every day right now, aren't they? Yet, there is one thing we won't hear about on the news stations today and that is the message we all actually need to hear and embrace: God is not about to stop reaching out for those he has so much love for in this big world. The time seems grim, but his truth never shines brighter than when we begin to be embraced by his Spirit.
Acts of love - what could you do to show someone God's love today - not by accident, but with purposeful intent? Noticing differences - not to point them out to each other in some kind of hurtful manner, but to see them as what makes us each unique and able to fulfill a specific purpose as God designed for us to fulfill while we walk this earth. Whose 'differences' will God use to make this world a better place today? What fences do you need to take personal responsibility to mend this week? These aren't the typical resolutions for a new year, but trust me on this one - if we were to embrace these three, our world would be a whole lot less stressful and a bit more focused on each other than ourselves. Just sayin!
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