Once upon a time, my purse held a big fat wallet with a checkbook, and a wad of plastic store cards to guarantee savings therein; a cosmetic bag; a journal and pen(s); a jangle of keys; tissues; cough drops and gum; hand sanitizer and lotion, and an accumulation of daily trash. Oh, and my cell phone, too.
Yes, that was one weighty bag! Maybe that’s why by God’s grace my purse was not snatched – it looked too cumbersome for quick getaway!
But, like so many other areas in my life – I downsized. This time discarding what I don’t need to haul around with me. My new handbag is half the size and one quarter of the weight. It’s easier to spot the trash, and it is washable!
I wish I could do that with my self – not just the outward me, which surely could use a downsizing! But with all the emotional baggage that can appear out of nowhere and weigh me down – worry, frustration, and resentments I thought I have to carry as a concerned citizen and mother, wife and friend. All that baggage that weighs me down!
The news, and its newsmakers are heavy loads indeed – no matter what one’s party affiliation is. The last fifteen years seemed to have changed our country, the church and us in ways I never saw coming.
Will we be a better or stronger for the apparent deepening polarization of Americans from each other? Or, from even a modicum of fear that we may be annoying the One for whom the Founding Fathers had respect? 1
Only history will judge if the change is for the better. And I can’t do one thing about any of these issues!
“Well, you drama queen,” I say to myself, “Not nothing! That’s the whole point of this blog, for Pete’s sake! If you have a pulse you still have a purpose!”
What is wrong with this world? In G.K. Chesterton’s words: I am.
So, just like my purse: let me lighten the load I am lugging around – Give it over to God and get on with my day, and this day’s purpose summed up by the West Dallas Community School’s slogan: Be the Difference.
How? Again: One person’s prayers do make a difference!
Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~ William Arthur Ward
The hunger for hope and the desire for things to be “fixed” are met in the one who, on Calvary’s Cross, bore our sin and shame, and rose again to offer new life and hope. Thus, the great hymn writer Augustus Toplady said it best: “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to your cross I cling.” ~ We Fix Things
God, I pray those in authority will value prayer – and will pray and wait upon Your answer so that they have the courage enforce the laws that might stem the violence. (Mass Shootings 2015) Until You change our hearts Lord, we cannot love you or our neighbors as ourselves.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[ and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[ All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)