Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Start...Again

The last couple of years have been a whirlwind of highs and lows for me. I started with a new company, stopped writing, watched my daughter enter high school, and have felt betrayed by someone I once respected. The worries of running a small business in a terrible economy have weighed down on me until I could hardly sleep at night. All the while, I've felt myself growing more and more distant from God.

Recently I've made the decision to turn that around. Jesus said that if we set our sights on the Kingdom of Heaven, everything else will fall into place (the New Ron Translation). It's a simple verse, like most in the Gospels, but one easy to forget.

A couple of weeks ago my Pastor announced that we were looking into starting a weekly meal for the needy in our area. Keep in mind, I live in northern Oakland County, Michigan, once one of the richest areas in the country. The idea that we needed free meals for the needy was absurd only a few years ago. It's not so absurd anymore. So we're going to do what a church is supposed to: take care of our brothers and sisters, Christian or not, because that's what Christ expects of us.

I saw this as a chance to do something real. Not another ministry to serve other Christians or sending money overseas, but a chance to help my neighbor, someone I can see, touch, speak to. It's why the church is here.

We had a meeting at the church last night to get an overview of how such a project will work. Of course, other churches are already doing it, so we have the blueprint. I'm hoping things will get moving quickly, as the need is growing in our area. I suppose I'm a bit selfish, because I see this as an opportunity to lift my spirit as much as helping others. I want more than anything to feel that excitement I first felt when I came to know the Lord. Just by taking that first step last night, attending a meeting, I'm already feeling His presence again.

The Associate Pastor who gave the presentation last night told us of a man, retired, who learned of the program at their church and just started showing up every week at the same time to wash the dishes. He wasn't even a church member (he is now). I thought to myself: doing dishes for the Lord. What could be better?

It doesn't have to be a big job. But just to do something for the Lord would be better than anything I could accomplish in business.

So I've felt more at peace about the things happening in the world around me. Businesses come and go. I've forgiven those who have wronged me, worked hard to see things from their point of view. I can see how they've felt betrayed or hurt. Nothing can harm me in this life that won't pail in comparison to the glory that awaits.

Happy 2009.

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