Throughout this year we are looking at the theme “Become the Conduit.” Yet the task of actually becoming the conduit of God’s healing-redeeming work in the world is always in competition with our need to be successful in this world. It seems too often that there is not enough time to give to the task. One author wrote,
We exhaust ourselves, working long hours to pay for things we have not time to enjoy. We choose careers based on the income they produce, not the satisfaction they provide. We assume large amounts of debt that require our continued labor to pay, exhausting ourselves in pursuit of lives that finally hold little pleasure for us. We chain ourselves to devices meant to entertain and connect, yet we find hollowness and isolation instead.
Our quest for a successful and productive life too often depletes our physical resources. Soon our relationships begin to fail. Marriage, family, work, and spiritual life begin to wane. And again we are robbed of the time needed to work on getting connected to our power source – God! That means it is time to ask ourselves some very important queries to help us evaluate what is getting in our way of becoming God’s conduit:
- Does my work contribute to the well-being of humanity?
- Are my relationships healthy and life affirming?
- Do I connect more with devices or people?
- Am I kind and thoughtful, providing others with helpful emotional support?
- Am I generous, freely sharing with those who have less than I do?
- Do I bring joy and hope to others?
- Am I a thoughtful steward of the resources I oversee?
- Have my actions contributed to peace and understanding?
- Am I careful to protect and nurture the less powerful – children, the disabled, the poor, animals, and nature?
- Have I furthered the advancement of justice in my nation and world?
I believe these questions get at the core of how we can become God’s conduit in the world. Can you imagine how much our world would change and how the lives of our friends and neighbors would improve if we simply evaluated ourselves on occasion and tried to make some changes? We might find ourselves less focused on our own needs and more on the needs of our neighbor – and becoming an effective and useful conduit!
Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob+