Follow Him

WE HAVE ALL been through so much in such a short time. It’s as if decades of change have been crammed into two short years.

We’re all weary from hearing about the pandemic, protests, and war. But nobody can escape these things.

You might not always feel it, but on the inside it hurts. Meanwhile, we continue to fight our everyday battles, or help a friend with theirs.

I don’t deny the joyful moments and the blessings received. Life is always a reason to celebrate.

Still, many cry out now from beneath the rubble, and all types of poverty confront us.

The news fascinates and terrifies us all at once. And we have so many channels to choose from… so many competing truths.

You can try to ignore it, but things eventually hit home. What price did you pay for your last loaf of bread?

If I try to understand it all with my head, I may get mad, sad, angry… or maybe resentment creeps in.

So I go to God because I can’t make sense of it all on my own. The deeper truths go far beyond politics and worldly control.

The powerful elite may use an entire nation as a chess piece, but in the end we all belong to God.

We cling to a speck of dirt in his vast universe. Our time here is short. 

Humanity is at a critical moment now. Geopolitical change unfolds at high velocity. A sense of danger is in the air.

The aftermath will profoundly impact me, my children, and future generations. Today, we are witnessing events of massive historical importance.

Was the pandemic just a warm up? I’m not predicting the end of the world, but enormous changes are coming soon.

And while my faith in God gives me great hope, I admit I still worry.

To calm my uncertainty about the future, I return to an ancient story of the past. 

Long ago, they once put up a cross on a hill. A good man, an innocent man, died there that day.

A great sacrifice took place for the sake of all humanity.

I cannot understand it all in my head. Instead, it is a secret seed planted in my heart.

It’s the King’s promise for his Kingdom.

And when I place that promise at the center, everything else falls into place.

If something else occupies my center, then my worry, ego, selfishness, and pride take over.

I may even try to disguise these things with false piety and distorted virtue.

My own sin convicts me.

But when I return to the cross, when I peer into the empty tomb, the smoke clears and I see the way forward.

And despite the trouble, my heart sings praise to God.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Follow me.”

Today, as the world struggles to find its way, I believe the Lord calls us with more urgency than ever.

The current moment requires great courage, generosity, solidarity, and sacrifice.

Tomorrow will require even more.

So I ask myself:

What’s driving my actions, fear or trust?

Where do I place limits on my compassion?

Where do I hold back the resources, energy, and creativity I have to help more?

In what way do I close myself off from the healing touch of God?

And where do I withhold his mercy from reaching others through me?  

If you end up weary, let it not be because you are tired of it all.

Instead, let it be because you worked hard, loved courageously, and had skin in the game.

And in the midst of our complex world, a simple prayer for our times could be this: 

Help me to trust more, O Lord. Help me to love more.    

. . . . . . .

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

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