Just last week I wrote about my commitment to write this year. I’ve made it a personal goal to keep this blog going with 2 or 3 posts each week and to work steadily on my current book project. But here it is on Friday, and I haven’t written anything all week. On Monday, my laptop crashed. I spent most of the day on Tuesday trying to get an older laptop updated and ready to use. On Wednesday, I started feeling unwell myself, as I tried to take care of other responsibilities that kept me busy most of that day and the next.
Now it’s Friday afternoon, and I’ve been trying to talk myself into writing all day. I still don’t feel well, but I decided I needed to write at least a short blog post. I’ve been thinking a lot about grace this week, so maybe I could say a few words about that.
Staring at the empty page on my computer screen, I decided to find out just how sick I am. A good fever would surely give me an excuse to put off writing for another day. I went in search of a thermometer, but it took me a while to find where I put all my medical stuff when we moved last year. I finally found one and took my temperature. It’s a little bit higher than normal, but not in the “fever” range. So here I am back at the computer.
Have you ever wished you had a thermometer to take the temperature of our nation, or your home church, or your family? Would you like to know exactly how sick – or how healthy – is your government, or your church leadership, or your marriage? Election years are great for hearing about everything that’s wrong with our economy, the national defense, and the state of schools, health care, and more. The problem is that everyone has a different opinion about what’s wrong and what needs to be done to fix it. Many churches are struggling, too, but solutions are hard to come by and usually impossible to implement without upsetting someone.
We look at opinion polls, and charts, and percentages, and compare this year to last year or ten years ago. We forget that opinion polls are just opinions, and charts and percentages can be made to say anything you want them to say. It’s not like a good thermometer. When it reads 98.8 degrees, it’s saying, “You’re not sick – get back to work. When it gets to 101, then you can have some chicken soup and go to bed.”
Well, here is my unasked for opinion on the state of our nation. It’s not perfect. It’s not as healthy as it could be, but it’s not time to give up and go to bed and wait for someone else to fix things. Instead of obsessing about what’s wrong with our country, let’s do what we can – each of us individually – to make things better in our own little corner of the world. Not just for ourselves and our family, but for our communities. Let’s focus on what’s good and make it better. Let’s make ourselves better before we stand up in judgment against someone else.
Finally, before I sign off to go and make some chicken noodle soup, let me leave you with these words of grace: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
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What is my mission as an author? It's a tough question, but I believe the goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they really believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.