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May
16

Congratulations, Class of 2021!

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Congratulations, Class of 2021! You did it with grace and elegance during a world wide pandemic! In the midst of shutdowns, limitations, cancellations, masks and social distancing you overcame adversity to accomplish one of the greatest milestones of your life to date. Celebrations are best served mixed with moments of reflection as we realized the conferring of degrees was a milestone achieved over a life of learning. And with that the hope and confidence that the best is yet to come.

I mused at what it might have been like if Jesus graduated in 2021. Would he have been the valedictorian? Would he have won all of the academic and athletic honors? Would he have been presented with multiple full ride scholarships to all of the best institutions of higher learning due to his perfect ACT and SAT scores? It kind of makes you wonder.

One of my favorite passages about Jesus’ life is found in Luke 2:41-52. The story is familiar enough. Jesus and his family went to the Temple when he was 12 years old. This would have been an important visit for Jesus, because at age 13 he would become a full member of the Jewish synagogue and assume all of the rights and responsibilities of circumcision. In other words, he would become a man.

While the text is about Jesus, the story includes Joseph and Mary and their interplay through the narrative. The text reveals that Jesus, like any child, required some work. (Not that it was necessarily bad work). Verse 52 said that Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” In short, he grew intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially. Joseph and Mary were there to superintend that growth and were diligent to ensure that Jesus was nurtured in the most loving way. The preceding verse says that Jesus was “obedient to them,” inferring that the parents were going to continue to provide direction and guidance for his developmental years.

But Jesus also created some worry. You remember, don’t you? They went to the Temple as a family, and after spending some time on the return trip to Nazareth they discovered Jesus wasn’t among the caravan of worshipers.

“Joseph, have you seen Jesus?” “No, I thought he was with you.” “I thought he was with you.”

After a three day search they found him in the Temple, presumably right where they left him. And in typical parental fashion, Mary chides, “How could you do this to us! We’ve been worried sick!” His simple response was that he must be “in his Father’s house.”

Which brings me to the third thing. Jesus created wonder. Imagine Mary and Joseph’s reaction when Jesus said he must be in his Father’s house! Hence the wonder. There’s no recorded response to Jesus’ statement. The only insight we have is that Mary treasured all of it in her heart. That’s not the first time Mary has treasured the mysterious sense of wonder surrounding Jesus in her heart. And it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

My most sincere congratulations again to the Class of 2021. May the Lord continue to walk with you as you begin the next exciting chapter of your lives!

Categories : Graduation, Parenting
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With the exception of one Elder led congregation, I have always been a part of a congregational church. A congregational form of church government means that the membership sits atop the organizational chart, providing the final thumbs up or thumbs down to initiatives from subsets of the church. A congregational church may delegate some of the day to day decisions to the church staff or to a board, but reserve the “big” decisions for church wide business sessions.

A couple of things about that fact strike me as strange. For example, voting on issues always creates winners and losers. All in favor say “aye,” and all opposed say “nay.” Let’s count the votes and see which side has won and which side has lost. American politics reminds us that we have winners and losers every two years.

A second thing that is striking is that all votes are equal and count the same. The wealthiest member of the congregation gets one vote. The oldest member gets one, as do the youngest and newest members. Every member gets one vote. Just one. They’re not weighted, which is appropriate. Every time I step into a voting booth I am reminded of the fact that any other number of registered voters can cancel my vote. While this is striking, it works for America and it works for congregational forms of church government.

There is one more thing about congregation wide voting that I find interesting. Voting is based on a model of approval and disapproval. If I approve of an initiative or a candidate, I can vote “yes.” If is disapprove, I can vote “no.”

So what happens if I “lose” the vote? What do I do if I find myself in the minority of the will of the people?

Whenever I am in the minority, I move from approval to acceptance. I don’t have to approve of the action of the majority to find a position of acceptance as a minority voice. You see, I am troubled when I see a celebrity look into a television camera and say, “If so and so is elected then I’m moving to (fill in the blank some other nation).” There have been plenty of elections when I didn’t “approve” of the majority opinion and my horse didn’t win, but I didn’t move to another nation. I remained a good citizen of my community, state, and nation. I paid my bills and my taxes. I exercised my right to vote in the next election. I didn’t approve, but I accepted the outcome.

One of the things those of us in congregational churches need to remember is that sometimes things are going to happen when we don’t “approve.” But for the sake of the whole, we can come to a point of acceptance. We can continue to faithfully serve, continue to give as instructed by Scripture, and continue to work to advance the cause of Christ by serving our community and living as a faithful witness. We don’t have to always “approve.” But we can learn to “accept,” for the sake of something bigger than our one vote.

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May
15

NEXT: Wait for the Promise

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Over the past several weeks I’ve been posting reflections from a sermon series I did titled, “The Seven NEXT Words of Christ.” Each sermon dealt with the first post resurrection statements made by the risen Lord. This week I’ll cover the final post resurrection saying, found in Luke 24:49.

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, NIV).

Jesus seventh statement concerns the important role the Holy Spirit would play in the ongoing mission of the Christian movement. My Baptist tradition in general has been a little nervous around talk concerning the Holy Spirit. That kind of theology was central to the church down the street! But the Holy Spirit is central to the ongoing story of God’s redemptive plan. The Holy Spirit wasn’t invented at Pentecost. If you read the creation account of Genesis you’ll see the active work of the Spirit in the formation of the world. The Spirit is lurking in the shadows of the Old Testament narrative, appearing here and there supporting and undergirding the story of Israel.

A more prominent role is undertaken at the incarnation of Christ and continues as such in the Gospels. But its the book of Acts and the formation of the new community of the redeemed where the Holy Spirit takes a more visible posture. The giving of the Spirit at Pentecost comes simultaneously with the sending of the church into the world. The Acts of the Apostles are really the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. As a result a movement was born and the world was transformed through the message of the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes I get the feeling that our heads spin a little bit whenever the Holy Spirit is introduced into a conversation. The New International Version presents a clothing metaphor to aid our understanding of how the Holy Spirit relates and interacts with believers. While we may struggle a bit with the Holy Spirit, we can at least wrap our minds around clothing and what clothing is all about.

Clothing is what covers you. It provides a sense of protection from the rays of direct sunlight and warmth in the chill of winter’s snow. Clothes cover our bodies and help us from being exposed to rough surfaces that may be uncomfortable to the skin, as well as protect us during dangerous activities such as football or cycling. There is an element of comfort that is also associated with what we wear, like that old hoodie or faded pair of jeans.

What we wear is also what others see. We are able to make impressions upon others, depending on what we choose to wear. We dress for certain occasions and perhaps even have our own style that matches our personalities. In a sense, our clothes are identification markers, helping us locate one another in a crowd. Some will even go so far as to assert that “clothes make the man or woman,” suggesting that our behaviors and attitudes are closely associated with what we choose to wear.

Thinking of the clothing metaphor leads me to the conclusion that one of God’s goals for our lives is for others to see us in our redeemed version, kind of a YOU 2.0, if you will. With certainty, the Spirit continues to work on us everyday. But the outcome of that ongoing transformation is to work in us so the Spirit can work through us to make God impressions on those around us.

So maybe the question is not so much what will you wear as it is who will you wear. Each day we make the choice to put on ourselves or to be clothed with the Holy Spirit.

Here’s a helpful article that is worthy of pastors’ attention about the struggles of motherhood and the challenge that churches face in meeting their needs. It’s by Dr. Heather Thompson Day, associate professor at Colorado Christian University. You can read the article at the following link: https://www.barna.com/guest-column-mothers/.

I appreciate Day’s research about the stress levels of mothers, single mothers, and working mothers. The pressures and demands of being a mother become more complex with each generation of children. While Day appeals to churches to provide support to mothers, she stops short of offering some practical suggestions. Here’s what I would offer that is practical and tangible, based on my experiences as a pastor.

  1. Lay Off the Obligation to Volunteer in Children’s Ministry. Our mother’s and grandmother’s all took their turns working in the church nursery, teaching Sunday School, and volunteering for VBS. They did their duty and did their time, and now expect the 21st century mothers to do the same. But the world has changed. Many of those same mothers and grandmothers didn’t work outside the home nor face the pressures of modern day parenting schedules. I remember one parent who told me, in so many words, if they had to watch their own kids when they came to church they “just as well stay at home.”
  2. Lay Off the Proverbs 31 Ideal. Many mothers place enough expectations upon themselves with out a pastor (usually male) pointing out Proverbs 31 as the model of perfect motherhood. Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman could do it all, and by my observation, many of today’s moms are already trying to do it all, including meeting the additional expectations they feel from other moms in the PTA or the weekly play group.
  3. Lay Off the Lip Service to Reaching Young Families. If you want to young families, make a commitment to reaching them. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. Create environments and contexts where young parents can be with each other, sans kids. Provide occasional date night opportunities for parents by offering child care so they can catch their breath. You can do the same in early December so parents can Christmas shop together for their kids.
  4. Lay Off the Sports Guilt. I’m old enough to remember “blue laws,” which virtually shut communities down on Sundays. Stores, gas stations, and even restaurants were closed on Sunday so that local churches had the market cornered one full day each week. That ship has sailed. Even Wednesday nights, a night once respected by local school districts is off the table. Whether we agree with it or not, parents are going to provide their children every opportunity to learn and grow possible, including sports and the fine arts. Whether we agree with it or not, sports and fine arts are going to schedule practices, games and performances on Wednesdays and Sundays. Whether we agree with it or not, parents are going to choose those practices, games and performances over church activities. I learned a long time ago that I’m not going to win that battle. I also learned I wasn’t going to judge or criticize parents who made the choices they made. Nothing is to be gained by invalidating a young family’s Christian commitment just because their kids play soccer on Sunday morning. So instead of judging them, celebrate them. Encourage older congregants to attend kids sporting and fine arts events. Make your presence known to them where they are, not just when they are on the church’s campus.
  5. Lay Off the Guessing Game. One of my pet peeves of church leadership is the insistence that they can sit in a room and discern how to meet the needs of mothers, fathers and young families. But if truth be told, they’re just guessing at it. Or worse, they plan as if they’ve read the latest and greatest book released on the subject by the guru of the day who lives in a different geography. There is not magic formula for reaching young families. So maybe church staffs need to quit guessing and actually talk to the mothers and fathers. No, I’m serious. Ask them. And then listen. What they have to say may not be in your church’s program or schedule, but that’s ok. You really don’t have to guess any more. And if you can discern what the needs actually are, who knows? They might be more prone to invite and bring their friends along. The gymnasium you’re thinking will help you actually may be for naught. What moms or dads may prefer is a mentoring relationship with an empty nester who has already walked where they’re walking.
May
09

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Today is Mother’s Day, and for the first time I am not able to call, visit, or even send flowers to my mom. She died in January following a two week battle with COVID-19. I am sad that she suffered, and sad that her family could not be at her bedside to provide comfort and care. But I am thankful that she is not lost, for I know exactly where she is. She is in heaven, reunited with her parents, her brothers, and her husband. Most of all, she is in the presence of her Lord, who she faithfully served her entire life.

Today I reflect on her life and influence. Many of these remembrances bring a smile to my face. I remember the pace and tempo of her life…church attendance on Sunday…laundry on Monday…ironing on Tuesday…church again on Wednesday…beauty shop on Friday…grocery store and lunch at her parents on Saturday…EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Each day was organized around an inflexible meal schedule. Breakfast, dinner and supper times were established in stone and never varied, eliminating the question, “When do we eat?” The food was always good, thanks in part to the folgers can of bacon grease on the stove. She made all of her desserts from scratch. Annual seasons were defined by planting, harvesting and canning fresh vegetables from the garden, all according to The Farmer’s Almanac. During the winter months she made hand made quilts, twelve stitches per inch. Life was simple and structured.

My fondest memory today is the memory of my mother’s encouragement for me to read. Her education never surpassed her high school diploma, but she was an avid reader. We didn’t have money for “extras,” but some how she found the money to buy books for me to read. She taught me to read books, love books, and care for books. Because of her (and Amazon) I continue to be a buyer and reader of books. Lots and lots of them! No e-reader for me!

But the best book she ever purchased for me was a Bible, given to me for Christmas in 1982. I still have it, and from time to time read the fly leaf which bore the admonition, “always keep Jesus in your life.” This particular Bible was instrumental in my call to vocational ministry. It was the first Bible that I read seriously as I went to Bible college. It was the Bible I preached my first sermon from, titled, “The Master Prayer of the Christian,” based on Matthew 6:10. Appropriately, it is the Bible I used to deliver her funeral sermon. It’s hard to believe I’ve had that Bible for nearly 40 years. One might assume that I associate my love for the Bible with my father, who served as a pastor for 60 plus years. But I don’t. When I think of the Bible and its influence, I readily attribute it to her.

My mom wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But what she did, she did well and to the best of her ability. Most importantly, she taught me to be Jesus centric. And that’s not nothing.

Categories : Mother's Day
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May
09

NEXT: Embracing Your Sentness

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Graduation season has reminded me of how much fun I had during my senior year of high school. I had more than enough credits to graduate and had one block to fill. A friend of mine and I decided we should volunteer the last hour of the school day as office aides. (It wasn’t like they would let us sign out early to go home.)

Working as a seventh period office aide was a lot of fun, but it carried a little more responsibility than I imagined. Todd and I began our work each day by walking to all of the classrooms and collecting the attendance slips affixed to the door of the room. We were sent to the bank to make the daily lunch money deposit. We were sent to the post office to deliver the school’s outgoing mail. If phone messages came in for students from their parents, we delivered those as well.

Todd and I did all of these activities on a routine basis and were never questioned as to why we were freely roaming the halls or driving off and on to the campus. The reason we were never questioned was because we were sent by a higher authority, namely our school principal. I learned that year that when you are sent by a higher authority you don’t have to look over your shoulder to see if anyone is judging you or evaluating you. I learned that as long as I was pleasing my higher authority I didn’t need to dwell on the opinions of lesser ones.

This simple story is a good illustration of how we should perceive our sentness into the world. In John 20:21, Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.” I want to point our some aspects of how Jesus was sent by the Father into the world and how His sentness informs our mission on earth today.

Back in my Arkansas days I had a church member who was a police officer. We spent a fair amount of time together working on a community project for at risk kids. One day following a planning luncheon I was taking him back to work, when suddenly we were passed by a car driving at a high rate of speed. The car was easily going 20 MPH over the speed limit, swerving back and forth while changing lanes.

The officer looked at me and said, “Catch that car.”

The adrenaline surged and I bagan to follow the instructions of the officer. I broke the speed limit, changed lanes erratically, and did my best to catch up with the speeder while trying to preserve my own life. The only thing that saved us was the red light at the intersection.

The officer looked at me and said, “Pull up beside that car.”

I pulled beside the car and rolled my window down and yelled at the driver to get his attention. The young man looked over and saw me and gestured aggressively. He did not see the officer. About that time, the officer leaned up and displayed his badge to the driver and his passenger, and strongly urged them to exercise prudence and caution while driving. Or something like that.

I was amazed at the 180 degree change of demeanor when they realized that the middle aged man in the Chevy Silverado was accompanied by a law enforcement officer. It was like someone flipped a switch.

The moral to this story is a simple one. Jesus came into the world under the divine directive of the heavenly Father. And in the same manner that He was sent, we are sent into the world to be the presence of Christ. We don’t go on our our initiative. We don’t go by our own design. We are sent by God to fulfill His mission on earth.

Jesus not only came into the world with divine authority, He also came to the world as a model for what the missional life looks like. Think about the incarnation itself. The eternal, pre-existent Christ stepped out of the splendor of heaven, limited His glory, and became like us. During His brief time on earth, Jesus revealed God to us. His claim was, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:7-11). He was the “icon” of God, revealing God to each of us. He helped us know who God is and what He is like.

Not only did Jesus reveal God, He also communicated God to us. John’s gospel account begins with this affirmation, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God” (John 1:1). What is a “word,” other than a means of communication. Jesus was God’s megaphone to the world that He had and continues to have something to say to creation.

Finally, Jesus came expressing the nearness of God’s presence. One of the names of Jesus ascribed through his advent was Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). He tangibly represented the presence of God in the world, and did so through his words and deeds.

So how does this inform our function as missional Christians? Quite simply, as we live our lives we reveal what God is like, communicate his word and his words, and serve as tangible reminders that God is near.

May
01

Leaving Can Be Life Giving

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The most recent issue of Christianity Today had a column by Rev. Dennis R. Edwards, PhD, titled, “Leaving Can Be Life Giving.” I thought it was a powerful account of a pastor who left his position due to systemic racism and institutional toxicity. The key quote from the article is, “Pay attention to the wounded faithful who exit. Their words may be the word of the Lord.” You can read the article at the following link: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-june/racism-leaving-prophetic-institutions-dust-off-your-feet.html?share=BVWUKAktFXWrI2NPviYnK5OFgn0HFGos&utm_medium=widgetsocial.

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May
01

Does Your Heart Condemn You?

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“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from truth and we will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do condemn us, we have boldness before God, and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:18-22)

What does John mean when he writes that our hearts can condemn us? In short, it is the internal feeling that I am not right; that something is askew. Our hearts can tell us that we are wrong, leading to shame, and that we have done wrong things, leading to guilt. So how does this work?

First, our hearts can condemn us for who we are. We can feel condemned because of our race or our gender. We can feel it in our unhealthy body image issues or an unrealistic view of our physical appearance. We sense it in our lack of income. We don’t have the right clothes or the right cars. Or we didn’t get the right degree because we weren’t smart enough. It is the essence of dissatisfaction and being somehow incomplete. Or, “I am not good enough, therefore, I am not good at all.”

Another way that our hearts can condemn us is for where we are. We live in the wrong suburb, neighborhood, or kind of house. We have the wrong job or career. We went to the wrong schools. It can even be that we were born into the wrong family or married the wrong person.

A third way that our hearts condemn us is because of what we do. This includes our sins, but extends to our mistakes and failures. It can even involve the opportunities that we’ve missed or didn’t take complete advantage of. It comes when we make the wrong decision or waited too long to make the right one. We made a purchase creating debt when we should have been patient and paid cash. Our actions condemn us actively and passively.

Isn’t it fascinating that John’s first century audience struggled with the same kind of contemporary issues that we wrestle with today? His encouraging word that lifts us from guilt and shame and sets our feet on hope is that “God is greater than our hearts.” Those committees that live in our heads that condemn us do not hold the majority opinion of who we are, where we are, or what we’ve done. God has the last word on that. It is important for us to remember that he loves us, accepts us, and cares for us in spite of everything. We are valuable because God says we are valuable. Nothing we can do can compete with that!

Categories : Spiritual Formation
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May
01

NEXT: Peace Be With You

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Peace is a scarce commodity in modern culture. More and more we tend to live in crisis mode, struggling to keep our heads above water as wave after wave of adversity pounds against our lives and homes. Living in survival mode will push hopes for peace to the margins of our prayers. Frankly, most of us don’t even aspire to high ideals such as “peace that passes all understanding.” For many, the only peace we can imagine is the peace that comes from the absence of adversity.

But the peace that Christ speaks of is a peace that comes to our lives even in the midst of adversity. Which brings me to the fourth post resurrection statement of Christ, found in Luke 24:35-40.

“Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet” (NLT).

In the Luke account, Jesus offered his scars as a means of comfort and peace. So how does that work? Think about scars for a moment. What do we know about scars?

First, scars are a sign of a previous wound; evidences of an injury that has occurred in the past. Some of our scars are visible. I have a scar, for example, on the palm of my hand that I received from a bike accident as a kid. I have a couple of other scars like that, but over all have been pretty fortunate. While some of our scars are visible, many are not. Some of the worst scars we carry are scars that cover our hearts. Some times the invisible scars represent more pain than the outer scars etched upon our bodies.

Second, scars are evidence that our wounds can be and have been healed. After all, if its not a scar, its still a wound that remains unhealed. When you see a scar there should at least be a flicker of hope for healing has occurred.

Third, some scars exist because we did exactly what we were supposed to do. I can remember as a child staring wild eyed at a young man just home from Viet Nam. He attended the church where I grew up and had been facially disfigured because he did what his nation called him to do. Jesus, of course is another example of one who bore deep and ugly scars through no fault of his own. He simply did what he was supposed to do. Maybe you have scars as the direct result of doing the right thing.

Fourth, scars are an important part of our maturity. Romans 5:3-5 speaks of God’s purposes in our adversity. Paul states that the trials of life work endurance in our lives which develops godly character, resulting in love. In short, adversity works endurance, and endurance develops character, which helps us to mature into persons who are more loving than before the adversity we experienced.

Finally, scars are a part of our authentication as human beings. They are what make us real. Behind every scar is a story, and those stories help our lives intersect with the lives around us. Scars have a way of reminding us that we are both human and mortal. Those aren’t necessarily bad things. We’re all human and mortal. Sometimes a scar will remind us of that and keep our feet firmly planted in humility and reality.

Now think about Jesus in that quiet room with the disciples. Jesus looked into the eyes of the disciples and saw the turmoil. He showed them his scars and invited them to touch them. In doing so, he invited them to come close, to take a step toward a deeper level of intimacy. Jesus could indentify with their lives, and he can identify with your life. Regardless of what you’ve experienced, Jesus can identify with your scars. To find peace in the midst of your struggle means that you’re going to have to take a step toward, not away from Jesus.

700 years before he was born, the prophet Isaiah said that Jesus would be called the “Prince of Peace.” He’s the ruler of peace and he makes it available to you. He gets the fact that you’ve been hurt or are still hurting, and he invites you to come closer.

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Apr
25

What Is Your Priority?

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From Essentialism, by Greg McKeown: The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed this way for the next 500 years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to do multiple first things. People and companies routinely try to do just that. This gave the impression of many things being the priority, but actually meant nothing was.

McKeown’s words created a pause when I first read them. Like many, I was conditioned to think of having many priorities, and I categorized them according to my spirituality, my family, my relationships, my physical health, my personal finances, my work, and my intellectual and emotional well being. Each of these categories had sub categories, with goals and action plans. All were, in my own thinking, my priorities, but upon reflection, was my feeble attempt to “have it all.” The pursuit of all of those priorities was demanding, leaving me overwhelmed and governed the tyranny of the urgent. Having multiple priorities complicated things and resulted in chaos. Establishing one priority creates simplicity and order.

His words reminds me of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT). Faith was not an important part of Paul’s life. It was his life. His faith served as the litmus test which ordered everything else. It doesn’t mean that Paul didn’t do other things or have meaningful relationships. For a while he held down a job as a tentmaker. He had numerous relationships with people he called friends. He developed a strategy for planting faith communities in towns that didn’t have a Christian presence. Paul developed people and leaders of people. He also had an extensive writing career. But each of those served the greater good of one priority. Having one priority doesn’t mean you only do one thing. However, having one priority governs every thing else you do, if you even do it at all.

Maybe instead of getting our priorities in order, its better to discover the “one thing” and focus there. No, we can’t have it all or do it all. But we can identify and pursue what is best and finally discover the freedom and power that comes by being able to say “no.”

Categories : Spiritual Formation
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