I am in a good place in my faith journey, when I wake up in the morning I feel the peace of the Lord surrounding me, calming me and strengthening me for the day ahead. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is such that I do not feel compelled to convince others that I am right, to convert others to my way of thinking, or to condemn those who disagree, on the contrary I feel driven to be more caring, more supportive, more accepting and more loving to all of God’s children without regard to the path they follow. Today I read from 1John chapter 4 and it spoke to me about love, and how we are supposed to be loving and are loved and I realized that we all too often get so hung up on being right before other people that we forget about being right before God.
How quick we are to make excuses for why we cannot do God’s will, cannot follow God’s path. How quick we are to excuse our own failings and condemn others for theirs. How quick we are to believe that we alone have the wisdom to know right from wrong, to judge rightly the sins of others, to be more holy – we are not supposed to be the judges, we are no more holy than another, we are never wise enough. As long as we wander through our own egos, we will continue to stumble.
The Church in the book of Acts must have been amazing, the perpetual threat of pain or death and yet the promise of the Holy Spirit. Watching miracles happen daily, seeing people come to a relationship with Christ in large numbers. Speaking in languages never learned. What an amazing journey and process. In that time, as the Church was being born, formed and imagined, all members of the Church helped as they could the group as a whole. Those who had much, gave much, so that those who had nothing could grow closer to God, could develop a deeper relationship with Christ, could answer the call and become more fully faithful.
I still find it amazing, that a story told so long ago, that it reaches through history, through today and on into the future. God has seen each day of my life, of all life, He is present in each moment. His will is the only will that matters. He created the world, told the story, our story, for all time. Everything we do, every step we take, every word we speak, every breath, every heartbeat, every joy or sorrow, the Lord is there, here and with us through it all. He sees us, knows us, loves us, saves us, carries us and blesses us. It is amazing and still people don’t, can’t, or will not see the truth, that is amazing as well.
Is it fear? Is it fear of the Lord or fear of the truth? Do they fear punishment or fear that they deserve punishment? All of our days are spent deciding what kind of person we will be, each new day. Will we stick to the path we are on, or wander away? Will we rely on God or on man? Will we be strong or weak? We pray for forgiveness, strength, blessings, but do we have them, do we admit the truth of our own minds? All of our lives we begin each day with a choice, what path shall I travel today?
Christ does not wander away when we do, He does not lose interest, or forget His promises, or lose sight of us, we lose interest, forget our promises and lose sight. Today, I will be more loving, I will endeavor to be more faithful, I will strive to be better, not because I fell short yesterday, but because all of life should be spent striving for better, striving to be stronger in my faith, to be closer to Christ, and in accepting the fact that it isn’t to measure up, or to deserve something, it isn’t to earn anything, it is to show my gratitude, to celebrate my salvation, to rejoice in the blessings given to me, so many years ago. Each day is a new day, a new chance, not to get it right, but to experience the fullness of His love and to be grateful for the gift. I will not judge others, but invite them to be loved, I will not condemn others, but invite them to live forgiven, I will not turn my back on another child of God, because we are all children of God and only God knows the heart, only God sees the days of each of His children, and only God knows what will happen from each of my encounters, each of my conversations. I will not try to do anything for God, but rather be open to God doing things through me, and that is all I can hope for, all I can be, is a child of God, willing to receive His love and to share that gift just as it is given to me, freely.