Another Day Along the Way

Friday, November 19, 2010

Before November EndsAnother day,

Leaves changed colors. I smiled at each fresh appearance.

Driving through towns, I could notice the seasonal shift of life. Here, then transformation, then departure. Hills and valleys, roads and trees, businesses and schools: I-85 carried me through the various views of reality.

Now, school is about to pause briefly before a longer delay. Weather will become cooler. Leaves will leave us alone for a few months.

But before November ends, we have days remaining. Even though the hurried speed of time reminds us regularly that we are running out of time, we still have days until Thanksgiving, weeks until Christmas, more than a month until the New Year.

What will we do with those days? Well, here are a few prepare-for-the-holidays suggestions:

– Read the Bible. So many people in America own Bibles. Many Bibles. But so few people regularly read them. Some pastors even depend on others for sermons instead of studying Scripture themselves. Through the remainder of 2010, read those words of life. Not as a duty to earn God’s love (He already loves us whether we read or not). Not as a work to qualify our own value (the Book you’re reading will explain the difference between grace and legalism, relationship and religion). Not as a trick to see if more good things might come our way (TV preachers aren’t always right).

– Read books. Old books. New books. Short books. Thick books.

– Time alone. Spend some time with you. Alone.

– Time with others. Spend time with people. Those we feel comfortable around. Those we struggle to be around. Work through the issues of separation. Be together.

– Give. Stop holding too many things too tightly. Choose to give.

– Laugh. It does good like a medicine.

– Cry. It does good like a medicine. We incorrectly relate tears to a weakness. We are wrong. Let us be strong enough to cry.

– Go. To a new place. To a new town. To a church of a different denomination. Unlock the bondage of preference and tradition. Give something new a try.

– Listen. Instead of planning your next words while a friend is talking, just listen.

– Learn. Facts, information, names, life. Choose to learn something new.

– Set goals. What do you really, really want for Christmas and the New Year? Make a list. Pursue those goals through hard work, endurance, and joy.

– Forgive and be forgiven. Wave goodbye to bitterness and resentment, to excuses and blame. Forgive. Be forgiven.

Those goals can get us off to a new start as a year ends and 2011 begins. Like the weather, we can change in this new season of life.

Along the way,

Chris Maxwell

Plans Set: Amazing surprises begin to happen.

(Chris Maxwell, Unwrapping His Presence)