Every Moment Counts
How many of us know how to live and express our faith in simple, clearly understood ways each day? The small things we do can have a bigger impact in people's lives than the once in a lifetime opportunity that receives public acclaim. Simple faith is what God is looking for, not pretentious religious fervor. He desires a real and personal relationship in which He is involved in every moment of every day with us. How do we begin to live and breathe God’s presence in our life in every moment?
Keep it Simple
Matthew 11:28-30 (the Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
I love the words: “unforced rhythms of grace.” We try too hard to get it right; we try to explain grace in our finite way of understanding and only end up confusing others and ourselves. We try to box our beliefs into a predictable, programmable, systematic form of thought and action, which only makes what we want to do seem forced and difficult. God want us to simply walk through each day to the unforced rhythms of grace. He wants our faith to flow out of our inner life. We cannot act authentically loving unless we have a loving heart.
The change has to come from within. That is why we have to come to God—so that he can change our thinking as we listen to his thoughts, and make us more loving as we experience his love for us. Through our personal relationship with him we can learn to love others and relate to them in the way Jesus would. This can not happen from the outside-in; it has to come from the inside-out. As we spend time with Jesus—being honest before him, sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings, and then listening to his response, listening to his heartbeat—we will be able to live out what he shows us. As we allow him into our deepest, hidden places, we will begin to experience his tender touch, his healing hand, and his life-giving words. In turn, we can then offer that kind of relationship to others who cross our path each day. The more we allow Jesus into our life, the more we will be able to live in the unforced rhythms of grace.
Matthew 10:41-42 (the Message)
"Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing."
We tend to overcomplicate our lives and then wonder why everything is so hard. As we spend more time with Jesus, we will begin to learn that simple is better, less is more. What if in your life you only did one thing well? Would that not be worth more than doing a whole lot in frustration and defeat? When we come to Jesus with our life situation, he will bring focus and clarity and a step which we can take—usually a simple one that we have overlooked in our quest for the “bigger has to be better.”
Too often we skip the simple answer and race ahead to do this BIG thing for God. Jesus walked through his time on earth simply touching the lives that came across his path each day. He didn’t try to make it happen but was ready to show love as each opportunity came his way. That is a wonderful example for us to follow.
A Touch of Hope
We can also touch the lives of those who come across our path each day with the love of Jesus. And these “touches” don’t need to be big things to have big effect—a smile can change someone’s day from hopelessness to hope—“Someone noticed me, perhaps life is worth living!” A kind word can change a person’s feeling of worthlessness to a sense of acceptance. We may not see the inner struggle of the person we meet, but our random act of kindness will touch that inner pain and lighten their load and brighten their day, if only for a moment. Acting out in simple faith might also change their life forever.
So many of the small things make the biggest difference and it is something all of us can do. Every one of us can reach out to someone else in a small way. Our simple faith can make a big difference today.