Another winter approaches, reminding me of the passing of one more year. I’m a year older and a year closer to my last breath. Have I accomplished all that Christ has put within me? This isn’t some mid-life crisis type of reflection; I have weathered that storm and come through on the other side somewhat unscathed. This is more about being sure that I am making the most of the minutes I have been given here on earth. Am I each day giving everything I have to the service of others and the mission of Christ? How about you?
Athletes and musicians devote years of their life in anonymous toil, perfecting their craft through countless hours of repetitive exercises. They are honing their skills with the end in mind, a purpose that drives them to persist through every trial and obstacle. In the end, their triumphs and their gifts, if not utilized to further the Kingdom of God, will mean little to human history. Yet their perseverance and raw determination, their relentless pursuit of a dream puts most of us to shame. We are invited to participate in the greatest mission ever known; we have been given the gifts and talents to make the dream a reality, yet we squander our opportunities through laziness and indulging in self-seeking activities that benefit no one and extract a great toll on our own lives.
If we do not gain an unrelenting focus to pursue that to which we are called, we will live lives of quiet desperation and die unfulfilled, unprepared, and unaware. That is not the life I wish to lead, and it is not the life for which I have been created. We hear the words over and over again, but are they sinking in? We know the things we should be doing, but are we engaging in those activities? We are the hands and feet of Jesus; we are His instruments of change. If we will not go into the world and fight for justice, if we will not feed the hungry and care for the sick, then who else will do it? Jesus is the light of the world and we are called to be His reflection. How much brighter would the love of God shine throughout the earth if each of us were properly tuned and polished so as to perfectly resonate and reflect that love to those around us? How brightly would that light shine if it were multiplied by the number of those who proclaim to know Christ? Our world is covered in darkness because we are a dim reflection of our Savior.
Every day that we are blessed to live we must set our minds on Christ and doing the things He commanded us to do. We must practice using our God-given gifts to hone our skills so that we might be ready to use them in any situation and every season. When we wake up each morning, it is imperative that we recognize the opportunity before us and greet the day with enthusiasm, knowing that we have been given the opportunity to join with Christ in building His Kingdom on earth. What could be more invigorating or exciting?
The truth is most of us will choose not to participate. Many who take up the call will become discouraged and fall away. But there will remain a few that will persist, a remnant that will stop at nothing to pursue the work that has been given them to do. I want to be part of that crowd. I want to share in the glory of God by refusing to turn away or give up. I want to seek Him with all that I am and use every last breath to tell others about His love and His mercy. In my own strength I will fail; alone, I will falter. My pledge is to desperately beg for His help, His strength and His power so that I might achieve the things for which I have been created. The remnant is small, but the remnant is able. Will you join with the few who will persist at any cost? The price is substantial, but the reward is beyond measure.