Being silent is a skill we can develop.
The neighbours said they rarely saw the lady but when they did, she was always happy and well-presented. She kept the small garden at the front of the house neat and tidy. But it was clear from inside that it had been years since she had thrown anything out.
“The thwarting of strategy is an invitation for God to do a deeper work of character.”
The folks at Waffle House have a whole system for keeping restaurants open in a storm. They know how to do natural disasters. We need to be a “Waffle House church,” first offering people the body and blood of Jesus Christ, then offering a full menu of the faith even in the midst the storm.
These habits will help form a posture of communicating – of living – with gracious conviction. Most of them rely on humility in action; they show and shape perspective at the same time. They are habits learned as we follow Jesus around as his apprentices. They don’t always come easily; as we learn, we still fall short. But this is the Jesus way. We can’t do less – and by God’s grace, it will become easier.
The Psalmist says that a person who builds his or her life on the Word of God is like a tree planted by streams of water, which basically means that their lives are deeply rooted and healthy. Their lives are nourished, marked by lasting stability and fruitfulness.
We don’t seem to know how to choose love rather than reaction. Forgiveness is the very rhythm of redemption – our redemption and the redemption of all our relationships.
What is some of the stuff you need to leave behind as you begin the new year? What can you drop off your weary, bending back to make your trek into the New Year a bit easier and far more meaningful?
“What if you do something different this New Year? Instead of setting goals for yourself with your own questions, what if you sit with Jesus’ questions, look at yourself long and hard in the mirror, and allow his questions to shape and guide you into this next year? What if you trade your resolutions for Jesus’ questions?”
Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian pastor, but I believe that actually he was a Methodist deep down inside. Why do I say that? I don’t know anyone who more fully lived out the concept of “prevenient grace.”