Last week you saw me in the American Legion Hall; a building which is transformed into a beautiful, spiritual setting each Sunday by a group of volunteers. Each helper knows the goal and can clearly see the changes as the sights, smells, and symbols of The Gathering come alive by the time the service starts at eleven o'clock. How beautiful to witness this physical transformation and the fruits of the labor involved! Although this physical change in form and appearance takes a lot of work it brings to my mind an even greater and more difficult kind of change. It is a change which can not be physically seen.
The Bible teaches us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". I believe this self-transformation requires time spent in self-reflection and the willingness to grow and develop into all we can be with God's help. The heart of this kind of change has little to do with what's on the outside but everything to do with what's on the inside. Even mentioning this is a frightening thought for some because most of us don't want to change anything we're doing but we do want to change others!
If you've read my profile or if you know me at all you will recognize that I am an energetic person who prefers outside activities over sitting down with a book, reading a devotional, or spending much time in self-reflection. To me I would rather work it all out in the gym, on the volleyball court, the hiking trail, or the tennis court. I share this with you because sitting down quietly and searching for answers in solitude does not come naturally for me. I know this about myself and it has taken a daily morning routine to help me connect with God in a peaceful and meaningful way. I find it necessary for my mental and spiritual well-being to begin each day with a thirty minute quiet time outside in my backyard. I read and I enjoy the sights and sounds of nature before I face whatever the day has in store for me. This ritual has helped me stay centered and focused on the message God has for me regarding myself and others and I am committed to it.
I read and answer a lot of emails and letters and I have prayed for the many physical, emotional and spiritual challenges that people face. Some are very stress-filled, hopeless, and filled with discouragement. For those of you facing these daily trials my hope and prayer for you is that as you begin your day you would remember to ask God for new life and strength as you face each situation. Take time to wait and listen to God's answers as you pray for personal transformation and renewal. Find a trusted friend to help you if you find this too difficult a task. You might even need to seek professional counseling.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen in eternal." 2 Cor 4:16-18 NIV
Remember to keep your eyes focused on what is unseen including all of your hopes and dreams for a great future.
Until next week, remember that God IS blessing you!