Into the Future

Years ago I remember watching a story on television about a boy who was stuck in a laundry chute between the second and first floors of his home while playing hide and seek with his siblings and friends. The fire department was finally called when all attempts to free the boy had failed. The boy was finally freed when the wall was dismantled and the chute cut open. The segment ended with an interview with the boy, who concluded his remarks with, “All I could think of while stuck there was, ‘I don’t want to die younger than Elvis!’”
As we enter a new year, what thoughts occupy your mind? Hopefully you aren’t stuck in life. But we can be stuck by attitudes and thoughts that hinder us from experiencing abundant life in Christ. Are you captivated by a fresh, godly vision of life and ministry or snared by the mundane? Are you riding high on the successes of the past year or floundering under the weight of perceived failures? The boy’s reaction to his being stuck in the chute was humorous at the time, but also reflective of a perspective that revealed what was truly important in his life, and probably in the life of his family. We can aim too high or aim too low and miss the peace and joy and blessing of God. Moving into 2014, I have reminded myself of some things. I share them with you as well:

• Don’t travel alone. We need others to experience the fullness of Christ.
• Be humble. Affirm your strengths. Acknowledge your areas of growth. Give honor and glory to God in all things.
• Be a good steward of your life. Guard your heart, your mind, your emotions, and your body. Maintain boundaries that honor God.
• Be honest with yourself. We need to continually open ourselves to the healing and growth necessary for building healthy relationships and being involved in effective kingdom ministry. What do you keep ignoring in yourself that needs to be dealt with once and for all?
• If you haven’t done so, find your sweet spot and live there. You—and everyone around you—will be glad you did!
• Begin each day with a conversation with God, and then look in a mirror and smile at the person you see, realizing the potential he or she possesses. You may even want to laugh a little; it is a good way to start your day.

Lord, keep us focused on you each step of the 2014 journey, joyfully following where you lead and doing our best to not stray from your wisdom, grace, and love. And help us, Lord, to share those precious gifts with everyone we meet along the way.

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