Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gliding Along the Tides of Time

"We glide along the tides of time as swiftly as a racing river, and vanish as quickly as a dream. Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should." Psalm 90: 5 and 12

Gliding along the tides of time--this pretty much says it all. Although through better and better prevention we are able to achieve longer lifespans, once life draws to a close it usually seems too short. Perhaps the idea we're missing is that it is all about quality and not quantity.

Many of us on this planet are born into a virtual Garden of Eden. We have more than enough food at our disposal; a place of shelter to keep us warm, cool, and protected; clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. Mercifully, we're also given a conscience that reminds us of others who aren't living with the same ease as us, so we see to it to share. The act of sharing emulates the love of Christ, thereby not only giving material items to others through kindness, but sharing our belief in Christ as well.  Fortunately, most of us are more than willing to share our abundant resources with others in need. It's the sharing our belief in Christ that makes us hesitant. How do we do this? We feel awkward, we feel intrusive, we feel a lack of skills of how to smoothly interject Christ's love into our daily conversations. We've unfortunately been bombarded with one televangelist after another that tend to overwhelm us to the point that we feel if we speak of the word of God or Christ to anyone, we come across in that same overwhelming way. Don't worry--it won't. God is in our corner. He knows every hair on our head and every thought in our mind. He knows how we're wired--He had a hand in it, remember? If we ask for calm in our own thoughts and speech, we'll have it. The appropriate words will come to soothe, help, love, and give hope to those around us. All the teachings of Christ were done in this manner; he sat amongst people, quietly sharing parables--not screaming from the rooftops or flailing and flaunting about. He gives us the same still and calm sharing ability if we ask Him for it.

In 2 Timothy 1:8 Paul finds himself once again in jail for sharing the news of Christ. WHAT?!? JAIL?!? Didn't we just agree that we could ask for and be given the calm and smooth words to share with others? And now we're talking about being jailed? If you're not familiar with Paul, he is the exception to the rule. Paul didn't do anything half way. When he was in is "former" life as he puts it, his greatest joy was exposing Christians left and right--doing his level best to destroy the whole of the growing sect of Christianity in the Mid-East. Once his conversion came, he did his level best to make Christianity the way and only way. One can see how this might anger some of his former employers. So...Paul spent quite a bit of time in jail. But he never gave up. And he also was wise to accept a God-given partner in Christianity in the form of Timothy--a soft-spoken, hard-working man. In verse 8 it states: "If you will stir up this inner power, you will never be afraid to tell others about our Lord, or to let them know that I am your friend even though I am in jail for Christ's sake. You will be ready to suffer with me for the Lord, for he will give you strength in suffering. He goes on in verse 13: "Hold tightly to the pattern of truth I taught you, especially concerning the faith and love Christ Jesus offers you. Guard well the splendid, God-given abilities you received as a gift from the Holy Spirit who lives within you."

We all have those God-given abilities...those gifts from the Holy Spirit. We may not feel comfortable at first sharing the love of God and Christ through direct conversation. But remember the old axiom, "Actions speak louder than words." Think of how you can exemplify the beauty of Christ's love through simple gestures of kindness to others. If you have money--share it with organizations that you feel good about to share food, livestock, seeds, medicines, etc. If you have time--share it by helping at a food pantry, a soup kitchen, visiting at a nursing home, or cleaning us something for someone who can't do it on his own. If you have talent--share it by singing a song, sharing a poem or prose, making a pot of soup or a loaf of bread.

We are gliding along the tides of time. Every day does  count. We're given so much; we need to use our limited time of this dear Earth to do good to others and feel the love of Christ as we share.

May the Lord be with you always. Amen.