Every day a new opportunity to live like we mean it
My big challenge this week has been to avoid slipping into a negative mindset just because I have this persistent cold/flu/virus thing going on.
Yes, I understand that eleven straight days of feeling “icky” is no great tear in the fabric of the cosmos; and I understand that it’s nothing compared to my friend’s looming back surgery, the ravages of chronic disease, families in crisis, and the tragic teen deaths that shattered another friend’s family this past weekend…. I know that perspective is everything.
REALITY: But reality for each one of us as individuals is experienced mostly in the realm of the small, day-to-day events that we simply can’t avoid. In consequence, the terrible mayhem of yesterday’s double car-bombing in Syria has less impact on the quality of my day than the fact that I woke up with a bad sinus headache and was annoyed that I’d forgotten to re-stock my favorite breakfast cereal.
Violence in Syria
At face value, what I just wrote is a horrible admission. How dare I suggest that a mild inconvenience in my home could be compared to the horror in the Middle East?
Well I’m not, of course. What I am doing is pointing out the fact that – for good or for ill – the moment-by-moment events of our personal lives have a tremendous impact, and it doesn’t help anyone deal with their reality to say things like, “Well be thankful you’re not living in a refugee camp in Africa…” or “At least you weren’t kidnapped by terrorists…” or “In rural Mongolia you wouldn’t even get to see a doctor….”
CHALLENGE: Our challenge is always to live like we mean it exactly where we are. This is where God meets us (Valrico, Tampa, Brandon, Atlanta, Chicago, Pensacola…); this is where we have the opportunity to either shine or experience defeat; this is where the rubber meets the road and we either live as children of the light, or we don’t.
So I have a bad cold. Maybe you have an overwhelming challenge at work. That is our reality.
We can pray for the people of Syria, and we can work for peace the best way we know how; but it’s right here in my home, and your workplace, and our community, where this moment stares us in the face and we have the opportunity to actually be disciples of Jesus, followers of the Way, children of the living God.
Morning light in Valrico, walking Scout
PRAY: For me, when I looked up and saw the light breaking through the clouds at the beginning of this day (picture), I said this: “God, I’m really annoyed with this extended bout with the flu, and it’s difficult to get beyond it and to joyfully embrace the life you have given me today. Please help me. Help me not only to feel better, but help me to live like I really mean it. Amen.”
What are you going to say to God about your situation? Whatever else is going on in this broken world, your life has its own challenges, and they are important to God because you are important to God.