Today’s the first day of your new school quarter in this hemisphere heading for spring. Today is also, always, the first day of the rest of your life.
So I’m praying ten small things that might change today, change this term, change you, change the world.
Rest. You need to be strong for classrooms and corridors, for finding common ground on the playground and capacity for creativity, catching balls and scrawling words. And know that He is God.
Slow to empty out all your words on another. Slow to uncage your rage when things don’t roll how you hoped. Wait. Be sure your response is the cure not the cause. A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (Proverbs 15:1)
Quick to give, and forgive. Quick to listen wide open and soft to the hearts of others. Quick to offer your help, your seat, your sandwich, your suggestion or solution.
God has already paid the ransom. You are free. Now stay that way. Which means, don’t get trapped in the tangle of unwise choices. Rather, obey. Not to earn God’s favour or anyone else’s, and not because obedience is the gravy train to success. Obey because that is success, and simple freedom.
You can say anything, ask anything. Tact, timing and tone are key.
Reach out. Make an effort. Live outside of your skin enough to know what the world feels like coming up against someone else’s. Ask yourself, What does love require of me?
You know who you are. You know how much you are loved. That’s plenty right there. You stand on solid rock.
David said to Goliath, ‘You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’ (1 Samuel 17:45) He wasn’t outsized, out-speared or outsmarted, because he knew that no one could outdo his God. You can be brave to step into all the big tomorrows, because the tomorrows come one at a time and you’ll meet a big God in each one.
Be prepared to pray hero prayers. Like, God I’ll do anything, be anything, go anywhere You ask. Be prepared to say with the psalmist, I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word. (Psalm 130:5)
Of the seven billion people on Earth, you only get to be one of them. Do the best you can at being the only you. My friend in Madagascar who always knows when to pray emailed me this last week – ‘He calls out the stars by name. May He call out the treasures He has placed within you…’ I’m praying that for you too.
The twilight is a little warmer. The mornings are a little lighter. Forever starts now, and there’s hope.
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Strength to you and yours, whatever the season. And thanks for being part of the community here today. I’d love you to sign up to get these posts by email, and you’re so welcome to get in touch here, or on Facebook or Twitter.
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Photos by Samantha-Leigh Bester