I am devoting this week’s blog to an amazing servant of God. I celebrate the life and message of Billy Graham. His “home-going” to Heaven is a world event. It is turning heads. For some, it’s another fond look at the amazing impact God has had around the globe through this man. For others, it’s a first look.
I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ age when He completed His life on earth. He died at only 33! That’s just not very old! At a youthful age, Jesus handled Himself with exceeding wisdom. He understood deep, hidden things of God. Jesus knew Himself and was comfortable in His own skin. He was the only young man who lived with unmatched excellence. No sin. Just love. To this day, He still loves perfectly!
At 33, I was still figuring out who I am. Somewhat naïve. Inexperienced. I didn’t understand a lot about life. I’m older with different perspectives and conclusions, yet there is still so much I don’t know. Life is filled with things that can’t be explained or neatly packed away. I think I’m making less mistakes than when I was 33. But that’s just it! I was making mistakes. To this day, I still do.
I’m guessing you’ve had at least one time in your life when you felt your relationship with God was good. Maybe. Some have had several seasons. Yet, like seasons of the year, they keep changing. Your relationship with God shifts.
What causes these shifts? Why the change? Who cuts in on your successes? Your peace. Freedom. Growth. What pushes you to your edge? Causes you to fall? And why do you go there?
Life: Life has rhythms. Ebb and flow. Continual change. Basic principles stay the same, but the message everywhere is – “change it up!” What you grew accustomed to has been switched out. Life is constantly pulsating. Whether it’s people, business, agriculture, medicine, ministry, science. It’s never quite the same each day. Some people find that adventurous. Others, threatening.
Today I was reminded why I do what I do with Intentional Living.
My life is super full! Lots of responsibilities – like your life. People depend on me to do my bit – like people depend on you. I have some wonderful experiences and memories – I’m sure you have some. And I have my share of extremely hard times. Challenges, losses, hurts. I bet you’ve had your share, as well.
Pushing back the curtain, my eyes struggled to focus in the flood of brightness. Gradually adjusting, I saw a story book scene covered in a blanket of freeze. It was breath-taking. Very still. Untouched. No snow falling. Just morning moments frozen in time.
A misty steam lifted from objects as the sun brushed across them. Trees wore perfect-fitting ice gloves. Every tiny twig was transparently encased. Long, slender pine needles were hugged by individual translucent sleeves. Everything hung in united beauty and silence.
Do you ever feel you just can’t get your act together? Do you sometimes doubt what you bring to the table? Maybe you think you simply don’t have much to contribute. You do love the Lord and want to serve Him. You want your life to make a difference in this world. However:
Eloquence – thinking on your feet – is not your native tongue.
You lack wisdom.
Blaring in your face is your weakness, not your strength.
Although you trust God, you find fears nesting in your heart. Fear of failure, pain, what people will think, missing God’s best, exposing unattractive character in yourself or someone else, hurting or letting someone down, your past haunts future progress.
The task before you is overwhelming. You tremble at what God asked you to do.
This next year will be filled with many blessings, lots of challenges, and probably some losses for many people. Such a mix of experiences.
We love the blessings. We sometimes don’t mind the challenges. In fact, some of you really enjoy challenges. But most of us would like to side-step the losses.
The difficult part for most people is facing the future with all the unknown components. So often you don’t know how to prepare, what to do, how to respond, where to find the answers. Your life is filled with shadows and you don’t know how to navigate through them.
The end of one year morphs into a new one by the simple passing of time. Days slip by all year, but when the passing of days end one thing and begin another, they are noteworthy.
Your life is a line, not a dot. Your life line is made up of segments of time – spaces between 2 dots where time passes. You live your life in these segments with your to-do lists, goals, responsibilities, dreams, plans, ministry, etc. Segments of time are:
You are living between 2 dots right now in this special week sandwiched between Christmas and the New Year. It’s significant. This week ends one year and begins another. You need a whole new calendar! In this critical week, I encourage you to be thoughtful about 7 things:
I have to admit something. My heart skips with joy when I see a child bursting with life . . . overflowing with passion . . . dancing with delight – and no apology for the display. Beauty, adventure, energy, innocence, faith, possibilities.
Do you ever wonder how you can help change the world? How can you make a difference with your fellow man in the community your life touches? How do you make a global difference in regions of the world far beyond the touch of your life? You may feel so small compared to the very massive work that must be done to tell people about Jesus – and then train them in discipleship.