I stumbled a little on this blogging path, took a step or two off to the side, but now I’m back on the trail. Yesterday was a blur of must-do activities and by evening, my mental energy was spent. One of the devotional blogs I follow always posts a Scripture verse on Sundays instead of an article by a featured author. Maybe I should do that on the days I simply have nothing of my own to share. THE Word always seems to speak where, when, and to whom God chooses. That happened for me today.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is a familiar passage often used during this Thanksgiving month. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I read it after writing my teaching schedule on this week’s calendar, making a to-do list for Monday (which always carries over into the rest of the week), as well as a list of possible meals based on ingredients already in the house. I thought about what volunteer work I’d have time for this week and who I might see for lunch, coffee, or a walk. Sometimes I stop and ask, “God, what do you want me to do this week?” before I fill up the days with seemingly urgent or nonessential activities. And then I read this verse – “this is God’s will for you.”
Which is…To rejoice? To pray continually? To give thanks? Not just to work or cross things off a cleaning or organizing list? Maybe I can actually rejoice while teaching, pray while cleaning, give thanks while preparing meals?
The Message’s title for this section in Thessalonians is “The Way He Wants You to Live.” Starting with verse 13, “Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.”
God’s will is more about a positive attitude, patience, kindness, encouragement, and not getting upset when someone gets on your last nerve (ouch!). What I do is probably not as important as why and how. This list from God’s Word is going to go on top of all my other to-do lists, “no matter what happens.”