In the Creator’s image there is neither Greek nor Jew, insider and outsider, native or barbarian. Christ is in all. Christ is all. Putting to death the ways of the world will never be accomplished by social surgery. Not in God’s kingdom, at least.
What we focus on, and the meaning we read into it, determines whether we feel blessed or cursed. Did I just miss out on my dream? Or am I living the dream someone else would have wanted? What we focus on determines what we see. How we see our lives determines how we feel about them. And how we feel about them leads to very different ways of living.
God is the Bonsai Master of our lives. The expert artist who looks after our growth with so much intentional care. Who has nurtured us and shaped us every moment of our life.
So often, the inadequacy we feel for our faith comes from when we think we have to be the gardeners of our own lives. We believe, falsely, that it is on us to craft our lives into our own perfect design. On us to have to shape our lives in the right way, to wrap the wire around the branches and contort ourselves into our own vision of who we should be.
"So what might First Presbyterian Church of Granville do to promote environmental stewardship in our corner of the world – Licking County? What might First Presbyterian Church do to improve the world for our children’s generation and our grandchildren’s generation? ...What if our church committed to a mission project where community members donated money to plant a tree in honor of each of their children and maybe their grandchildren? How many trees might we be able to plant? Five hundred in five years? Is that too large of a goal or possibly is that too small of a goal?"
That happens a lot for me – remembering bits of scripture at moments I need them. I suppose it’s like a song popping into your mind, or lines from a movie or a show you watch. They just come to you. But somehow these words have a different kind of weight, to me at least. They’re not just familiar words, they’re the words of somebody who loves me. It’s like having a best friend, only my best friend’s name is God. And the words of scripture are like God’s voice, coming to me when I most need it. Reminding me of what I need to hear.
We place ourselves in the hands of God, with each other. Purposefully. Mindfully. Intentionally. We make a decision to feed our souls. We don’t take it for granted. We don’t assume that we’ll learn faith by osmosis, or leave it to chance. We’re deliberate, purposeful, and consistent about growing our faith. We know that what we put into ourselves shapes us, changes us, and we seek out ways to feed our spirits. To let God shape us into something beautiful.