Page 20 is going to end up being a long day. My workday began at 6 this morning and I’ve not yet left the building all day. I probably have a couple more hours of work to complete before the building is ready for Sunday but it was time for a break from cleaning so I could do some writing. The day began in a similar fashion to how it’s ending, with a good amount of cleaning and taking out trash. Once the building was ready for the day, I reformatted a missions report so it could go in the church bulletin on Sunday then made the mistake of checking my social media accounts. I’m not really sure it was a mistake as it gave me plenty to pray about throughout the day, but it was very difficult to resist the temptation to respond to some of what I read.
With an upcoming conference schedule that will disrupt my normal routine, I decided to move on from the social media postings and spend some time with God working on a prayer guide for the week following next week. As I prayed, my mind could not avoid the events of the day and the strong reaction to the inauguration from people both for and against who is now the current president. Each side seemed to be online trying to shout louder than the other. And because the vast majority of my social media friends are Christian, the arguments soon descended into accusations that the opposing viewpoint could never come from someone who was actually a Christian. In the midst of my time with God working on a prayer guide, I was reminded of God’s instruction that we pray in all ways possible for everyone with a specific mention of leaders in authority. The purpose of this instruction is so we can live “peaceful and quiet lives” with the desire that all people would come to know the truth regarding God and His Son, Jesus.
So, out of my prayer time came a prayer guide based around this instruction that Paul wrote to Timothy, and to us. Because of the timeliness of it, I rescheduled the one I originally wrote for next week to go out the following week and scheduled this new one to be published Sunday. I pray that it will help each of us step back and consider the uniqueness of each of our brothers and sisters as we pray for them and for our leaders.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Unity as Christians should not require us to be completely identical. We must find a way to disagree at times without being disagreeable about it.
- Our only choices in any election is between flawed people. Your “deal-breaker” issues may not be the same as those of someone else but that doesn’t make either one of you “less” Christian.
- There are many groups of people who feel marginalized in our society and each one deserves to know they have great and equal value because they were created in God’s image.
- Prayer is powerful. If we believed that, we would probably pray more and complain less.
- When the enemy gets us to attack one another, neither of us has a light that is shining very brightly for God.
- When the Bible says that a peaceful and quiet life lived in all godliness and holiness pleases God, that is the life I want to pursue.