I feel a real and growing sense of urgency. I hear the clock ticking. I do not see this as terrifying, although I admit it is disconcerting, but rather a stark warning, a caution to be ready, a caution not to miss one single opportunity.
A few events have happened in just this past week which have served as a yellow light. The light is flashing grabbing my attention. An increasing awareness has been evident for some time but now because of these current events I have come to a decision. I am going to live this next year as if it is my last. This may sound odd to you and I mean absolutely no disrespect to those who have recently learned their time is short, their body winding down. This is my personal plan as a Jesus- Follower to create self-accountability in the great commission he has given me.
Already my vantage point has shifted. A dear friend of many years made a remark to me this week about people who proclaim Christ but do not walk the walk. Their philosophies and beliefs just don’t match up to their behaviour. I took this very much to heart, not because she was directing the comment to me personally (I hope), but because it prompted me in a way as never before to ask myself how people see my actions and behaviour. Jesus should always be the only example and focus, not man. Man will always disappoint, certainly including me. Yet people do indeed watch us and always will. That’s why it is so important how we show up in the world each day.
I have often examined my own heart regarding this. Thus, I have developed a habit of scrutinizing my own motives for doing things ensuring they are always God-centered. However, at almost 70, this new sense of urgency has now enveloped me. I want to finish well and hear those precious words, “Well done.” I now place absolutely all of my actions under this microscope. Plus, my motivation is not only to hear him say those words, but to offer this life-changing gift in Him to all those I know and love. As Jesus-Followers we hold the answers, the only Hope. Should we not share this incredible news? It is exactly like holding the cure to all the ills of mankind and not telling anyone…… What a tragic waste of my life that would be.
In Mark 14:35-36 we read that Jesus went a little further. I ponder this, especially now. My desire is to go further with my family and friends to show them God’s love. You know, this can be rather daunting. Why is it easier to speak to strangers about Jesus than those closest to us? My children know my heart of course but as for the others in my circle, I guess I have always counted on the fact that the example of my faith walk would be enough or, deep down am I really afraid they will see the genuine me with all my flaws and imperfections? Might this be resonating with you, too? After all, they all know I am a Jesus-Follower. But I am now deeply prompted to have that conversation explaining why I love him so. Do I have a responsibility to my neighbour of many years to share Jesus? Jesus went further for me so I could go further! I need to share this more widely! I just finished reading “Half Two-the Quest for a God-Honoring Encore” by Wes Wick in which he refers to his wife as the Pastor of Costco because of her frequent displays of love and compassion to total strangers right there in the most unlikely setting. Do people see me as that loving? Do they see Jesus?
My word for 2022 is “Begin.” So here, half way through the year, it’s time to assess my progress. I have begun a group at church focused on mature adults. God has laid this on my heart and given me a vision for a more intergenerational connection as we age. But my initial personal goal was to begin to be more kind, more loving, more patient, more generous, etc. than I had ever been before. In January I committed to praising more and listening better. Am I living up to that goal?
I also wanted to begin to enhance relationships with my immediate family and my closest friends. I want to invest my time in them to a greater and deeper degree.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians1:6
Yet now I see that my Father is creating something new in me, not my old status quo perspective of thinking my life example is enough. The “begin” was not about enhancing what was already there to some degree. It was about creating a totally new thing I’d never before known!