5. Napping, to ensure good rest when work is necessary.
4. Personal Budgeting, to ensure your heart still works.
3. Watching Streaming TV, to ensure a good time.
2. Snacking, to ensure your hands don’t get bored.
1. Social Networking, to ensure some kind of human interaction.
Romans 12:2 — Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I’ve been thinking a lot about new beginnings lately. I’ve probably been influenced by the current message series at our church and a local band that has changed their name and musical direction. The message series has been about what to do when you feel stuck and can’t seem to get any traction. The band changed their name to Ellis, because of Ellis Island. They noted that they know who they are and how they’ve gotten to where they are, but now they are at a point that starts a new adventure for them.
This verse, Romans 12:2, reminds us to be transformed through God. To some it may seem that this verse is speaking of a static moment in time when you decide to make the transformation from “of the world” to “in the world, but of God”. But I would argue that this decision to be transformed, to start new, is a daily decision.
It may not be a conscious decision once you are far along your walk with God, but for new believers and believers feeling stuck or beat down this is a decision that must be consciously made each and every day. These believers must ask, “Am I willing to trust, to have faith in, a God I’m just getting to know? And am I willing to give up the comfort of knowing this world as I have?”
Like Ellis, the band I mentioned, we need to know where our roots are and where we plan to go. Uncertainty lies before us, but if we are sure of who we are and sure of God’s guidance then we can take on the new beginnings and we daily agree to accept God’s transformation in our lives.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunity to choose to be transformed. Thank you that I don’t have to be stuck in a life that leaves me unfulfilled. You have given me great things and set a path for me to follow. Lord, help me see the path and daily choose to let you transform my life, my heart, and my soul.
Here in the U.S. this week it’s time to get out and vote. I’ve long been a proponent of voting, because I truly believe that each individual vote matters. When you see the total tallies it may not always appear that way in presidential or even state-wide elections, but if you look at the votes in individual precincts or for smaller proposals it’s different. Each vote visibly matters in those elections.
So I’ve always been interested in voting and being an informed voter, but since becoming a parent I’ve started thinking about voting a little differently.
It’s easy to see certain correlations between choices we make as parents and the effects on our children. If we choose to home school or choose a private school or a public school, then we know it will alter our child’s life. But what about who we vote for and how we make our decisions on proposals? Some of those decisions could lead to immediate changes in the world around our children, and some could lead to a butterfly effected change in the future lives of our children.
Researching the Repercussions
I normally research before I vote. I know the campaign ads and I recognize names on the ballots, but that’s not enough for me. I want to know what changes my vote could lead to and what changes my vote could help avoid.
I’ll be honest. This year I haven’t done nearly the research I’d like to, but I know that before I cast my votes on Tuesday I will be researching every item on my ballot. I will seek out the info I need to make the votes I believe in.
A Future and a Hope
I want to give my children the best future that’s possible, and I realize now that the way I vote—and the way I respond to voting—can affect that future. So for the next couple of days I will research the candidates and the proposals. Then on Tuesday I’ll vote for a brighter future for my children.