January 01, 2016

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”.
C. S. Lewis

Happy New Year!

2016 is upon us – we have just celebrated Christ’s birth and we are looking forward to celebrating the Epiphany – very quickly we enter into the great telling of “the rest of the story.” I find it humbling to reflect that I am part of that continuing “rest of the story…”

Since I am in the story, I affect the story… and so do you! And so I am going to pose a question to you to ponder: as you review the year just passed, what was your storyline… how did you tell the good news of Christ in thought, word or deed? What changes happened to you or others that had an impact or influence on yourself or others?

And thinking of your answers to the above questions, what do you hope for in this new year? What would you like to do, or how do think God might use you to help another? How do you think you might show love to someone? When you stop and think and pray, does something “warm your heart”… make you wonder if God is talking to you?

The first time Ron and I went to Haiti, in January of 2000, I discovered that God had been talking to me for some time and I hadn’t heard Him – or even thought anyone could hear Him – because I was waiting for an audible voice to tell me what to do. I had prayed, thought maybe we should go… and then decided it was foolish to go. So we sponsored several children instead. The pull to go in person didn’t go away. I still didn’t perceive God in that… so I just busily worked to convince myself and others that, if called, I would go…. But, not being called, no need to go.

God didn’t let it go at that, though, and the upshot of the story is that through some very dear and faithful people, God got through even to a person as stubbornly deaf as me… God’s call was that pull to go… that inexplicable desire to go and to see, to go and to help, to go and to be part of God’s plan of bringing His love and care to Haiti and to all who would hear and pray and care for the Haitian people because they now had a connection.

When I went to Haiti, my particular story took a turn I could never have anticipated, would never have thought to ask for, and would change me forever. God showed me things and brought to live in ways that defy description to this very day, the truth of Mother Theresa’s observation: “God sees only our love.”

How will God see your love this year? As you write your own story, give time for dreaming and believing that the ways you see love, and the ways you think you might give love, are God’s own dreams for you… that God’s dream and your dream are one.

I began with C.S. Lewis, so I will end with him as well. As you dream… as you hear… as you follow the Lord… heed one of Lewis’ favorite directions:

Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did.
As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.

May the Love of God fill you, surround you, and bring you peace and inspiration to dream and to act in love each and every day of this blessed new year!

Vicar Janet