I have to admit that being able to take vacations at times other than school breaks is one of the great joys of getting a bit older … especially being able to get away from the colder weather and often gray skies. We’ve been enjoying the mild warmth of O’ahu this week. Lots of people around and Waikiki is a busy place, but the view from our room is quite pleasant and relaxing. I guess you really can’t get away from everything, but for the most part the only real decisions to make are what to eat and when to eat it.
I wonder, if the economy ever comes back, if a church could … nah, better not think like that! Besides, we enjoy our home, and the people we serve with. Just glad we get to vacation now and then. Another thing for which to be thankful.
Today was one of those days where it seemed that every meeting I had added new challenges to be dealt with. A new shepherding relationship that will be difficult. Choices made by others that will add to my workload. Positions held by others will complicate the decisions I must make. A finance team meeting leads to difficult decisions about priorities. A friend is making extremely painful choices about his marriage and I have little to offer.
All in all, not unlike the days of many others who engage in ministry, or just life. Thankfully God brings strength and wisdom in the midst of every day, or we would despair. And He brings reminders of the pleasant, joyful and good gifts He gives: Someone excited about gifts they are giving to one they love. Words of encouragement unknowingly spoken. A simple dinner out with my wife and daughter.
Another day to encourage us to find confident peace in the one who gives peace.
Michael Horton writes in Christless Christianity that, “I am a Christian, not because I think that I can walk in Jesus’s footsteps, but because he is the only one who can carry me. I am not the gospel; Jesus Christ alone is the gospel. His story saves me, not onlyby bringing me justification but by baptizing me into his resurrection life” (p. 117).
Far too often I tend to think that maybe I can be the gospel, and that I can live it out on my own. In fact, we often tend to put ourselves into the center of the story when we are really the periphral players. We ultimately live out the gospel only to the degree that God acts upon and through us. We are HIS workmanship, not our own.