April 05, 2019
From time to time I like to take time to think about all the choices I make throughout the day. Right now I’m choosing to sit by the west-facing kitchen window, looking out over the desert behind us, and now see the reflected sunrise lighting the sky, bushes and trees. I see the beauty and possibilities of a new day.
Choosing to take the time to have my cup of green tea, read and pray are often part of my morning routine. I’ll make dozens of other choices throughout this day and most of them are mostly insignificant, affecting only me and my life. Or so it seems…
Choices that others make can affect us, right? We live with or surrounded by others, and know that their words or actions can strengthen or diminish us. We also know we can’t take on or be concerned about every word and action of others or we’d be constantly anxious and upset. We know that our words and actions affect others, too.
When I have a choice to make or am upset about things that others have done that affect me, I go back to the life and words of Jesus, and clearly ask myself, “In this situation, what is the most loving thing to say or do?” Sometimes that means I need to confront a situation with clear and loving words. Other times I need to let go. Sometimes I need to forgive. In A Resurrection Shaped Life, which my small group is studying during Lent, the author (Jake Owensby) reminds us, “It’s important to remember that forgiveness is not a response to someone else’s contrition… We forgive because we see the goodness and the freedom of being a forgiving person.”
I know that the current uncertainty about the future of the United Methodist Church has me blaming some delegates for voting in ways that I see as harmful. Right now my choice is to pray for the Judicial Council’s decisions (due around 4/26), ask for God’s guidance in leading St. Mark’s now and into the future, and listen carefully for God’s direction.
What choices will you make today and what opportunities will you have to ask yourself, guided by Jesus, “what is the most loving thing to say or do?” As we move through Lent and toward Holy Week, I think that being guided by Jesus is a loving choice.