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January Newsletter: Anyway

ANYWAY

There is an old saying that goes like this, “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.” Doesn’t that sound like most of us? How many New Year’s resolutions do we really keep? How much do we really change from year to year? Below is an item I used 20 years ago in a newsletter that made sense to me back then and I still try to follow it in my Christian life experience.

“Anyway” has been quoted and published by politicians, business leaders, military commanders, teachers, religious leaders, and coaches. It’s been used by the Special Olympics, quoted at the United Nations, and shared friend to friend for many years. I first read about it while reading an article on Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, India, where it is hanging on the office wall.

If we would just make up our minds to follow our hearts and to live the Truths of God found in the Word of God, we would end up doing the things described in this “poem.” We just need to make up our minds to do the things that God says works for us. And even though so much is against us, we can have a confidence described in this “parable”. “Do it anyway!” should be our motto as Believers.

“Do the Gospel anyway.” It doesn’t matter how illogical or how unpopular with the people around us, just do it anyway. God said His ways would be seen as foolish to men, so quit being so ashamed of that! For me, the Gospel creates a quiet confidence, even when it doesn’t look or feel like things are working for us at all. Remember the story of Samuel and Saul? Samuel was trying everything to solve his “king problem,” and had done everything but trust God. But, even without Samuel’s understanding of it, his answer was already sitting in the field; a shepherd boy was God’s provision even though Samuel was unaware! Where our provision might be hidden may not be obvious, but provision is present to sustain us just the same. Even in a world that seems focused on throwing out God, God even still quietly continues to bless, encourage, and establish His children.

Psalm 4:6-7 says, “Happy is that people whose God is Jehovah.” God is our source of abiding gladness and joy, actually the only true source of those things. It’s not the things we can put in the bank or our garages or our homes, or wear on our backs that fulfill that. It’s what we can put in our hearts that matters. Secularism depends on circumstances to be happy. God’s Joy is available in any circumstance simply because God is present in all circumstances!

I’m thrilled to have some old habits to start again this year. Some of those make it feel like home here. Yes, I might even resolve a few old patterns away for 2021. But the idea shared in this poem is one I don’t want to resolve away. It’s one I try and encourage myself with, and one I’d share with as many as possible. In some ways, it’s a paraphrase of the Scripture: Do not grow weary of doing good. (Gal. 6:9, 2Thes. 3:13) Another way of saying that and being literal to the scriptural meaning is to live vigorously. In God’s language: doing God’s beautiful. Something I believe is true: to follow the world will make living on the outside easier, but living on the inside harder. Living the God kind of life, living the beautiful, will make the outside harder but the inside will be much more peaceful and calm. The world suggests buying stuff will make us happy; the real Peace of God is not available in stores.

I know the winds are raging, the lightning is flashing, the rain’s falling and the noise is frightening, but we can trust the “calmer of the storm.” Calm down! There is Rest in God and that Rest is not obtainable by our labor or pain. Many times that’s not how God gives gifts. Solomon (1Kings 3:3-15) and Adam were given a bride and Abraham a forever covenant while each was asleep, unable to do for themselves. Significantly, Jesus’ confidence was so stable in his Father and Spirit that Jesus slept in the storm– can we?

The times we live in are stressing, but He is calming. At the time of Jesus’ rejection it was a time of confusion, doubt and fear. John had questioned who Jesus really was, people had rejected him saying Jesus was a drunkard and a glutton, and to the observing eye, his works were fruitless to the point of death. It was a time of seemingly great failure and trouble, yet Jesus found Rest in knowing the Father’s will. While the disciples were “weary and heavy laden” with burdens, while everything seemed to be going wrong, Jesus offered a solution. He invited them to “come unto me and I will give you Rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find Rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-9) The rest we seek in/from the world is only to be found in Christ.

Love anyway, do good anyway, succeed anyway, be honest anyway, think big anyway, fight for the underdog anyway, build anyway, help people anyway, give the best you have anyway. Do it without looking around, without being moved by what we hear and see. The world has taught us to live by what we see and what we feel, but sight and feelings are not good judges of what’s possible with God, or even what God has going on in the earth. Do these things because God said they would work for believers “anyway!”

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

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