“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Truth be known, I have walked in step with the wicked. I have stood in the path of sinners and sat in the company of scoffers. (What is it that makes us think that belittling and mocking others makes us better people?!) I’ve been in these places, and likely so have you. Maybe our selfish pride continues to lead us to frequent those dark places. But there’s good news:
We don’t have to stay where we are.
Every single day we are given the opportunity to choose a new path for our lives. Less making fun of people we don’t like, more understanding and compassion. Less apathy and more concern that insists on acting itself out in some small way. Less frugalness and more generosity. Less worry and more faithful prayer. Less criticism and more encouraging words and actions. Less attacks and more embraces. Less jaded outlook and more hope. Less seeing ourselves as hopeless and more seeing ourselves as hope-filled through the grace of God. Less sorrow and more joy, even in the midst of sorrow. Less wasted time in meaningless activity and more time spent intentionally – on purpose and on mission – in keeping with our most dear life dreams. Less dreaming of a good life and more living it fully every single day. Less of nearly everything and more love.
We can bloom where we are planted but we can also plant ourselves where we can bloom. We can choose to be like that tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit and with leaves that do not wither and always prospering even in times of drought. We do this by acting out our beliefs. You believe the bible to be true? Act on it! Consistently and persistently and relentlessly confront fear with assurance, worry and doubt with faith, anxiety with peace, bitterness with forgiveness, apathy with action, judgment with compassion, temper with grace, regret with remembered joy, my way with God’s way, and disdain with love. If you believe it’s better to take the high road in conflict, take it. Believe and act on that belief. Demonstrate what you believe by the way you live each moment.
“The ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6
Do you believe it? Be intentional; put it on your agenda. Make it your purpose to share love in your thoughts and actions today.
If life isn’t measured by the number of breaths we take but truly by the number of moments that take our breath away, what can you do today, each day, to create those special moments? They are your life legacy. As I think back on nearly fifty years with my best friend, 43+ years my bride, I think of shared adventures, silly moments, shared tears, encouraging hugs, steadfast devotion and encouragement in difficult times. I think of forgiveness and gentleness, attentiveness, and shared joys shared in a passion for life – both present and everlasting. I think of children we’ve brought into this world and loved and children across the world we’ve come to love. I think of nurtured friendships that have survived the distance of thousands of miles and passing years. I think of quiet walks through meadows, working the gardens in our life, and quietly soaking in the beauty of nature, God’s creation and the expression of his joy.
How about you? What will you do today to create the legacy of your life? May it be guided by your faith, expressing itself in love.
“Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21