Here we go again!
The New Year has begun. It is 2010. Things have increased with a speed, as Nola says.
When you take a horse out of the stable it is sluggish and you have to spur it on to go on a trot. But when you have reached the end of your excursion and turns its nose around to go home it suddenly receives renewed energy to get back to the stable!
Amazing how the finishing tape spurs runners on to put in their best effort.
We tend to slow down at the end of a year and to pick up speed at the start, don't we. We need to learn how to pace ourselves. We need to know our own rhythms. We cannot keep track of other people and what they are doing.
We cannot run the race of faith without patience. Patience is the stabilizing force that keeps faith upright. Telephone poles used to have strong iron cables to keep them upright. Today they seem to stand on their own, but they do have some kind of re-inforcement.
Let us look on the bright side of life as we start out. There is someone up there watching over us.
I watched Paul Newman many years ago playing Rocky Marciano in a black and white movie that also had a cameo role for Steve McQueen. It is a kind of feel good movie. You feel a few feet taller when you walk out of the cinema. Then I saw Zabriskie Point and felt horrible when I walked out: there was something that made you feel like destroying property. Movies have a great effect on life. So does TV. But the most important visual imagery should be on the inside. The movie you have of yourself.
Each one of us has a movie. We play the starring role. We recollect things that happened to us and we tend to settle with the image projected about us by others. But deep thought and accurate words about ourselves can actually change the movie script. We have an amazing ability to write our own script. We can choose the scenes. It is a divine ability. We can help others to create a better movie for their lives by speaking encouraging words to them and by building them up rather than breaking them down.
We have to learn to ignore and spit out all the negative information we receive from those who mean us harm. Just like a computer security is set to remove all the spam mail and all the junk mail without any effort, so we have to build a positive stronghold of faith within ourselves to cope with all the curve balls life throws at us. We need to be able to handle all the unfair criticism, all the jealousy and envy, all the hatred and all the pain.
We overcome by faith and faith works by love. To love is to be patient and kind and show goodness and mercy to others. You are patient with the one you love. You speak kindly to those you love.
God is patient with us. He is longsuffering towards us. He waits for us to understand His lovingkindness. He does not reject us when we make mistakes. He does not treat us according to what we deserve. His goodness leads us to repentance. He could have been severe but instead he reveals his love to us. That amazes us. We sing 'Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found, I was blind but now I see' with the songwriter who was a slave trader and experienced God's mercy when they faced a storm on the high seas that threatened to destroy their vessel. When they made it safely to the shore, he wrote the song that describes all our experiences outside of God's love and care.
When we begin to rewrite our own movie script of how we see ourselves in the light of God's love we see the picture changing before our very eyes! And then we can love others because we have experienced God's love.
May the New Year bring the desired changes in all of us to the betterment of others and to the greater glory of God, as Mike Wood, my Aussie buddy likes to say.