January 2009 Pastor's Ponderings

January 2009 Pastor's Ponderings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Someone once likened the passing of years when you are a child to passing telephone poles as you walk alongside a highway, riding past them on a bicycle as a teenager, driving past them in a car as an adult, and finally passing by in the blur of speeding past the posts of a picket fence.

Despite the increasing rate at which the years speed past I’m sure that all of us keep pushing many of the same things that we know we should do from one year to the next. At first it may not be an issue but as they pile up and the years speed up it becomes impossible to keep up.

It is not that they aren’t important enough to get done; it is that we make too many other things more important. We know that eating right is important but somehow the smell of French fries changes the equation. Exercise is good but somehow the sofa, TV, and a remote control talk us out of going for a walk. We know that we shouldn’t carry credit card debt but our outstanding balances keep growing. We know the importance of prayer and scripture but rush off to start our day bowing before our busy schedules instead of God.

For most people a serving of French fries can be a nice treat, an evening as a couch potato can relieve stress, and a small purchase on a credit card won’t bankrupt them. The problem is that a steady diet of junk food, wearing a rump-shaped depression into our favorite chair, and buying stuff on credit faster than we can pay it off will bury us – both literally and figuratively.

Especially during these tough economic times it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that things need to change. We may not be able to affect global economic factors but there are many things we can control. How we handle the small things makes a big difference when it comes time to pay the bills, go to the doctor, and seek direction and help from God.

To make these kinds of changes we need to see ourselves and our world through a different lens, through God’s eyes rather than our own. This means that we need to do things God’s way rather than our own. That is why scripture, prayer, worship, and serving God need to be foundational in our lives rather than options. As we grow in our faith and faithfulness God brings clarity to the many other things in life that would enslave us. We begin to say “yes” with confidence and “no” without guilt. Many of the things we once desired are revealed as empty. Many of the things that once seemed unimportant shine brightly with great worth. Our lives, calendars, and priorities receive an overhaul and rather than being shackled by the things that once demanded our attention we find ourselves set free.

Stop putting it off. Today is the first day of the rest of eternity. Start today. Don’t wait until next year!

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Your brother in Christ,
Paul