Have you ever been stymied by the question, “What’s up?” You try to think of the most recent big event and you come up with — nothing.
Most of our days are like that. The same routine. The same schedule. The same people in our lives. Nothing exciting. Nothing new. In a word, boring.
Have you ever considered the blessing of “boring?” While our lives are uneventful, somewhere in the world bombs go off. Earthquakes shatter communities. Children cry from hunger. Disease goes on a rampage. Christians run and hide from persecutors. These people long for a boring day, with peace and predictability.
In the steady rhythm of our boring days, we are free from the worries and fears that plague much of the world. In that freedom lies the power of creativity. We can make good things happen. We can plan joyous events. We can reach out to those who need help and encouragement.
Jesus called people from boring lives to the excitement of serving. From fishing to feeding multitudes. From tax collecting to giving to the poor. From medicine to miracles. His followers were never at a loss to answer the question, “What’s up?” Thank God for boring days! Let’s use them to reach out and change the world.
This week, I will do one thing outside of my routine to help or encourage someone, such as: Visit the sick, invite someone to dinner, make a phone call, send flowers.
Everyone Has a Story
Most people do not consider themselves authors. They’ve never had a book published or seen their name as a byline. When someone discovers a gift for writing, it’s a big moment. To see your work in print is extremely fulfilling.
While not everyone is a writer, everyone has a story. It’s being written on the pages of time. It’s titled “My Life.” Every decision (and its consequences) add a new chapter. It’s a blend of humor, pathos, challenge and triumph. It is the history of your unique journey. And it moves steadily toward a conclusion.
As parents, we would like to write that story for our children. We would eliminate all pain and keep the pages filled with happiness, achievement and fulfillment. But that cannot be. Each story is an autobiography— individual and personal. We can only share our own story and hope to inspire right choices.
Before your story ends, there are daily opportunities to make it a chronicle of praiseworthy deeds. You can change its theme and conclusion at any point. Your life can be a message of hope and redemption — if you make God the Co-Author.
Your story may not be in print (yet!), but tell it often— especially the parts where God intervened. There are people who need to hear it. There are lives that will be changed by it. Don’t underestimate its power.
This week, I will share my story of God’s faithfulness in my life with someone who needs to hear it.
Take Time to Practice
Young piano students have a difficult time understanding the need for practice. Even with a recital looming ahead, they blissfully announce, “I didn’t have time to practice.”
Granted, youngsters these days are busy. They have ballet, soccer, gymnastics, karate, swimming, and a host of other extra-curricular activities. Plus time spent on electronic devices. But the dearth of keyboard time leaves them struggling with simple melodies and stuck at levels lower than their abilities. The music within them is never fully released.
As adults, we often come to God with similar excuses. “I don’t have time to pray. I don’t have time to go to church. I don’t have time to serve or to reach out to someone in need.” As a result, our spiritual lives are anemic and out of tune with God’s purposes. We miss the blessing of godly fellowship, and the opportunity to bring hope to those who have lost their song. In short, we don’t have time to practice our faith.
The Book of James tells us that “Faith without works is dead.” It is a song unsung, a sonata unplayed. It is hope unrealized, a message unspoken, a destiny unfulfilled. Fingers grow stiff without practice. So does faith.
Heaven is the place of ultimate harmony. There, faith receives its highest rewards. We hope to join the songs of victory and adoration one day. But earth is where we practice.
I will put my faith into practice this week by taking time to read the Bible, pray and invite someone to church.
Refreshed in God's Presence
Warmer days plus sunny skies = beach time! Everyone yearns for a carefree day with toes in the sand and the music of lapping waves. Throw in a picnic lunch and some cold drinks, and life doesn’t get any better than this.
Scientists tell us that coastal air has special benefits that aid relaxation. The air is charged with negative ions that help the body absorb oxygen more easily. Serotonin levels are more equalized, reducing stress, improving the mood, and promoting deep, restful sleep. The overall effect is beneficial to health and well-being.
News flash! These same benefits—and more—are available through worship! In the presence of God, we breathe in love, peace and grace. The more time we spend with Him, the greater our ability to let go of the pressures of life and rest in the knowledge of who He is and what He can do for us. He lifts our spirits with hope and faith. And the mood improves with an infusion of His joy.
As summer draws near, the beach will beckon—especially on weekends. But before you head for beach air, stop to breathe heaven’s air. Find your place in church. Refresh your spirit in His presence. Then take the peace of God with you and share it with others. It’s always available — even on rainy days.
I will take time this week to refresh my spirit in worship so I can give peace and hope to others.