Slacker… that should be my word, right? I love, love, love to write and decided in November that I would write several times a week in 2020, but here we are on January 10 and I’m just now opening my blog for the first time in nearly six months.
I had big plans and hopes for myself and I already feel behind.
Don’t worry! I’m not beating myself up too much… just being real because that is who I am.
What you see is what you get.
I do not lie very well and that includes being fake.
For 35 years of my life I was a sermon illustration.
Of course, there are things in my life I don’t reveal easily. There is a year that I refer to as “the dark year” when I made consistent bad choices that I’d love to forget ever happened. But, alas… we don’t get to go back and fix mistakes or change decisions so why dwell on those things.
My word for 2020 is Commit.
So far, I’m obviously struggling… because a focal point of my committing was using the Church Sign Calendar as a prompt to write a la my daddy.
To be 100% honest, I haven’t really liked most of this year’s signs thus far:
1/1 May your _____ be longer than your resolutions (paper gone, but I held onto it for a few days so I kinda remember it)
1/2 Backsliding begins when knee bending ends
1/3 Do you love carbs? Jesus is the bread of life!
1/4-1/5 Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the ocean
1/6 & 1/7 have disappeared
1/8 You can’t do everything, but you can do something *I did mean to write this day
1/9 Physical strength is measured by what we can carry, spiritual by what we can bear
1/10 Find someone with a Friday night personality and a Sunday morning heart
Let’s go back to 1/8:
You can’t do everything, but you can do something.
This was the one I was going to write about, but the day got away from me and I didn’t. It has stuck with me over the last couple of days because I recently spent ten weeks out of work and six weeks in bed due to breaking my ankle and couldn’t do anything. To be honest, instead of taking those six weeks to read or write (hmm… this blog, maybe) I watched seasons 5-10 and then seasons 1-10 of FRIENDS.
Before breaking my ankle the word “controlling” would have applied to me perfectly. I do the laundry. I have always gotten up with the kids. I have always packed lunches. I’ve taken them to the bus stop or to school 95% of the time. I am the PTO President at their school. I teach preschool three days a week. And the week before I broke myself, I was hired two days a week to work in the Children’s Ministry department at my church. I volunteer every Sunday morning in Children’s Ministry and I took on the role of Shepherd in our American Heritage Girls troop this year.
All of that stopped dead the moment I broke my ankle… no work… no volunteering… no packing lunches or walking to the bus stop… I had to relinquish control of everything and it was HARD. But Life. Went. On.
Everything I did and do was covered by family and friends. We had six weeks of meals (three times a week) delivered to us. Jeff stepped up and took control of everything. Everything. And he owned it…
But I digress from the 1/8/2020 Church Sign…
You can’t do everything, but you can do something.
So many times we look at the World around us and it all looks so big. Making a difference can seem impossible. We want our country to be safe from outside threats, but we don’t want to hear about our government making decisions to keep us that way.
Every day people in our own city, county, neighborhood are abducted and sold into slavery – children, women, and men (though we don’t hear about the men as much).
It becomes overwhelming as we look at everything and everyone who needs something and we shut down trying to figure out how to solve all the problems.
But we were never called to do everything.
Matthew 22:36-40 (Lexham English Bible) says
“Teacher, which commandment is greatest in the law?” And he said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
Jesus called us to love God first and then to love our neighbor. But who is our neighbor?
Jesus answered that question in Luke 10:25-37 (NIV). (click on it to read it)
I don’t want to toot my own horn, but here is a real life example of attempting to live this out this week…
Yesterday I decided that I wanted a Bacon Ranch Salad from McDonald’s (with crispy chicken). I arrived that the McD’s near our house and there was a woman who appeared to be in the drive thru line, but when the line moved forward she did not. I sat in the entryway watching her as the line moved two more time – leaving a sizeable gap. Where she was “parked” she could easily have been picking up someone who was leaving work. So, with a four car size gap between her and the car in front of her, I pulled into the line. She immediately laid on her horn to let me know I was cutting in line, but did not move to get around me. I still had to wait through three cars ordering in front of me while she stayed at least two car lengths behind me. I could see her in my mirrors as she seemed to be searching all through her car for something – the reason she kept missing the cars moving forward. When I got to the payment window, I asked to pay for her meal. Sure, I was hoping it would serve as an apology for line jumping, but I also think she was searching full on for enough money to pay for something to eat. If that was the case, I hope she could use the $3 and change I spent on her meal to get dinner or something else she needed.
Another scripture that I LOVE from the Bible is Colossians 3:12-14 (LEB):
Therefore, as the chosen of God, holy and dearly loved, put on affection, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, putting up with one another and forgiving one another. If anyone should have a complaint against anyone, just as also the Lord forgave you, thus also you do the same. And to all these things add love, which is the bond of perfection.
And while many Christians discredit The Message because it is a paraphrase, it says this beautifully:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it.
Friends, we cannot do everything, but we can show love. We can be God’s hand, God’s feet, God’s message, God’s arms to a World desperate for love.
So back to my word for 2020… COMMIT
I want to commit myself to more Bible reading and study.
I want to commit myself to more writing about Jesus.
I want to commit myself to being evidence of God’s love.
Proverbs 16:3 is pictured above in the Darby Translation
The New Living Translation says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
God, I commit myself to you – my plans, my actions, myself.
Help me remember that alone, I cannot do anything, but with YOU, I can do all things… or at least I can do SOMETHING.