“Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” – 1 Samuel 12:21-23
59! The interesting thing is that – as of this morning – I have now been kicking around on this good Earth for a full 59 years.
No, I’m not fishing for birthday greetings (I’ll take all I can get this time next year!). But events such as birth anniversaries do tend to facilitate personal reflection; and I tend to be a naturally reflective person anyway.
I’ve shared before how Bible study nurtures and enhances my thinking. We are all created in the image of God, and I believe that creativity not only honors the image of God in me, but that creativity can only reach its potential in the context of a relationship with the One who is the author of creation.
And God was at work again Wednesday evening at WFPC, as we discussed several more chapters from 1 Samuel in my study group for men.
The things that we value, the prophet Samuel points out – the priorities, the possessions, the wealth, and the power that we believe we need in order to be “successful” – are essentially useless – “they can do [us] no good”. But there’s no call to be discouraged, because the Lord, for the sake of his great name, has not and will not reject us. Why? Because – he says – the Lord is pleased to make us his own!
JESUS: This is what I love so much about Jesus. Jesus reached out (stepped in) through time and space, so that – for the sake of God’s great name – I can accept, own, and live into the fact of God’s specific and personal love for me!
And what has this to do with turning 59? Everything, it turns out. Because, rather than grinding through middle age with growing weariness and looking over my shoulder at a nostalgic past, obsessed with how well I’m doing vis-à-vis the world’s checklist for “success,” I find that I am more complete, more vital, more engaged, and more passionate for tomorrow than ever before.
I am more complete, more vital, more engaged, and more passionate for tomorrow than ever before.
GRAB HOLD OF LIFE! If only we could all grasp the transformational meaning of Samuel’s words: “The Lord is pleased to make you his own… for the sake of his great name!”
And if only we could all grab hold of the powerful invitation of Jesus: “I came so [you] can have real and eternal life, more and better life than you ever dreamed of!” – John 10:10
Looking at this past year with gratitude, and into the coming twelve months with anticipation and joy – DEREK