“Just for You!”
Year 1, edition 2 (Jan. 26, 2020)
My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Greetings my friends,
Recently I’ve been hearing many of my friends talking about improving various aspects of their lives. Some of them have been speaking about a diet or a workout routine that they are “trying on for size.” Others have spoken about different ways, programs, or methods they are trying to get more organized and focused on near term goals or achieving long term success. Still others are looking more introspectively in an attempt to overcome incidents from their past or cultural norms that have kept them from living the life they desire to live.
All of these efforts to improve one’s life are commendable, yet I can’t help but notice how few of my friends are attempting to improve their single most important relationship in their life, a relationship with our God. Again, please know that in no way am I attempting to downplay or judge my friends who are working on these others aspects of their life, I am simply wondering why many of us don’t put the same effort into our relationship with God and with our community of faith that we put into other aspects of our lives.
In my own thoughts and reflection on this subject I come back to something I’ve said often. Our lives are just simply too busy. There are 168 hours in every week. Between work, travel, sleep, and other commitments the vast majority of these hours are consumed. When we have “free time” we want that time to impact our lives and make our lives better. I’m not sure that many people see improving a relationship with God as an activity that makes their lives better in “practical or functional ways,” and quite honestly if an activity doesn’t increase the quality of life, well let’s just say, it “slips” down the priority trail.
The above text from the book of Proverbs speaks eloquently to this topic. This text reminds us all that trusting in God and seeking God’s will for our lives will in fact help “make our lives better.” That trusting in God and seeking God’s wisdom will help us make better choices in the life we lead. Trusting in God and allowing that trust to live within every fiber of our body by displaying loyalty, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and love will help us to find favor with God and with the people we live among. I might suggest that indeed a deeper relationship with our God will in fact make the quality of life that we lead more desirable as we constantly journey to become the children of God that we are meant to be.
So this week, I am wondering what kinds of ministries or spiritual disciplines you might find rewarding. What kind of activities that you live out in your life to increase your relationship with God; Bible study, intentional prayer, meditative walks, fellowship activities would you recommend to friends who may be seeking to strengthen their relationship with God and with others. How have these spiritual disciplines helped to make your life “better” in practical terms? How has strengthening your relationship with God functionally made your relationship with others more meaningful or powerful. I am wondering if those who follow various spiritual disciplines might be willing to bear witness to how spending time deepening your relationship with God helps to make your life more peaceful or provides some other kind of practical benefit.
I look forward to hearing your stories and want to remind each person reading this reflection that our Lord came “just for you”… “just for me”…. “just for all humanity.” Having a deeper relationship with the very Creator of the cosmos can only lead to a happier, healthier, more peace filled and abundant life.
Peace and blessings for now.