Monday, January 17, 2011

Things That Matter

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote resonates with me for personal reasons. A year ago, the weekend before my birthday, I took a quiet retreat to a nearby retreat center. For two days, I read, rested, and hiked the trails with two of my favorite companions--my camera and journal. (I know...this is putting some of you to sleep just reading this!) I tried to be present to the things around me in nature and listened for Scriptures to resonate within me.

As I turned 40 a few days later, I celebrated with my family and a few close friends. I did not make plans to run a marathon or return to pre-pregnancy weight (not that these are bad things!) or start a "bucket list." One of the things I did begin to do is pray for God to remind and teach me about the things that matter, especially the things that matter to Him.

Why did I pray this? As odd as it may sound, this was related to one of my greatest fears of moving to Nashville from Baltimore last July. We were moving to the "Bible Belt" and into one of the top 20 wealthiest counties in the U.S. (Trust me, this has more to do with the humor of God than our ministry/counseling salaries!).

To some who might be reading, this possibly sounds like heaven on earth. After all, we have nearly too many churches to count within a 5 mile radius, a fairly God-friendly culture, and amazing amounts of shopping options.  However, to me, it felt like the perfect storm for spiritual complacency and preoccupation with things that should hold little importance.

Don't get me wrong. We have an amazing church with a pastor who has a heart and priority for missions. Our children are learning and growing in faith. We are finding places to serve. In addition, I feel blessed to have access to the many wonderful things our county offers.

However, I don't want to become "fat" on the good things in life and miss God's best. I have a long way to go, but I desperately want to know His heart for the world and be His hands and feet to show others His love. I am thankful for the things He is showing me in His Word. I pray that my voice be trained and strengthened by Him to speak up for the things and people that matter most to Him.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:8-9

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:17

1 comment:

Chris K said...

This has been your heart as long as I have known you.