This weekend Windsor did one of her favorite things: swimming! She loves to be in the water frolicking and giggling. Recently she’s been bold; she wants to let go. She wants to be independent. She is learning how to challenge herself in new and exciting ways. Sometimes it’s by practicing floating on her back. Sometimes it’s by holding on to the very tips of my fingers and kicking her legs. This time her challenge was jumping off the pool steps into my arms. It was scary, especially as I moved further and further away. There was the moment of hesitation before the jump. You could almost see the worries wheeling through her head. What if it’s too far? What if I’m not strong enough? What if he doesn’t catch me? The hesitation. The jump. And then the thrill of accomplishment.
We, as a congregation and as individuals, must embrace this. The hesitation of fear, the jump, and then the achievement. We will all be asked in the coming weeks to serve in ways we may never have served before. And it is ok to take that deep breath and let all those worries go through your mind. What if it’s too hard? What if I’m not good at this? What if I don’t know what to do? Ask yourself those questions and then show your resolve! Jump anyway. Jump into the work of the church knowing that both God and your church family will be cheering for you and ready to help you land on your feet. I promise the thrill of accomplishment and achievement will be a reward eternal.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us… -Hebrews 12:1
Fourth of July. Independence Day. Day of fireworks, grilled food, and sales in retail stores. It will be a day of excitement and food and time with friends and family. We will wear red, white, and blue for the day and feel patriotic. The evening will end with a bang, bright and beautiful fireworks to light up the neighborhoods.
And the next day, we go back to work; the excitement is over.
I worry this is how we live our Christian lives as well in too many ways. We go to church, socialize with our friends, enjoy coffee or a meal, hear a lesson we may or may not apply. The day ends. Monday comes; we go back to work. The ‘church stuff’ is over.
Or perhaps we go to a great gospel meeting or retreat where we truly do feel fired up for God. We feel excited about sharing the blessings of our life. We are re-energized by our time with like-minded friends new and old. And then the retreat is over. We go back home and the excitement wanes.
It certainly isn’t possible to keep up 4th of July fireworks level of excitement round-the-clock all year long. And it isn’t possible perhaps to keep up Sunday-focus all week long as life and chores compete for your time and energy.
We can each find ways to keep our mind focused on God and His word through the week. Maybe it’s setting aside fifteen minutes for reading and prayer when you first wake up. Maybe it’s reading a Bible storybook to the children before bed. Prayer time nightly with your spouse. A thought-provoking daily devotional email. There are lots of small ways to bring the focus back to God through the week. If you need some ideas for family devotionals, suggestions for a Bible reading plan, or any help at all in your spiritual walk, feel free to contact me anytime!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful
2 Timothy 4:7