As best as we know how

I’ve been thinking about the amount of time that I have to make a difference in myself and in others. I’ve been thinking about three amounts of time.

1. What can I do today?

2. What can I do in the next thirty days?

3. What can I do in the next 25 years?

Tloveoday

Behavior happens one action at a time. If I am going to love God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and love my neighbor as myself, I will look at the next thing on my to do list and ask, “How could I make this more intentionally loving?” I know that it’s easy to be paralyzed by this, but we don’t have to be. We can simply love as best we know how right now.

Thirty days

Learning happens several actions in a row. I can do 20 sit-ups every day in March. I can ask God for forgiveness every morning for a month. I can keep the kitchen counter clear every day for thirty days. I can read a serious book for fifteen minutes a day for a month. Each of those actions teaches my heart and soul and mind and strength how to love habitually. I can learn to love better in a month of daily attempts.

Twenty-five years

A pastor acquaintance spent the evening helping a family member recently, finally going home at 1:30 am.  He is 79. Ken’s action reminds me that even though I’m 55, I’ve got the potential to keep learning how to serve for 25 more years. That gives me 300 months, give or take a dozen. That’s a lot of books at 15 minutes a day. A lot of requests for wisdom. A lot of notes to you. A life of love.

The challenge, of course, is to not worry so much about getting the 25 years right that I don’t pay attention to the day in front of me.

Like today.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

7 thoughts on “As best as we know how

    1. We certainly do Jon! I truly believe that God has honoured my father for his willingness to continue to serve despite being ‘retired’ for the last eighteen years. He is still fit enough to walk their dog around the village, and has hardly had any health problems at all. Perhaps the sea air helps, but this is a man who has stayed busy for the Lord, -and continued to grow spiritually.

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  1. it’s easy to be so seduced by the outcome that I completely lose site of the value of the building process. Reminds me of the parable of the servants. Thanks Jon what a great “new routines” message. 😉

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  2. Someone asked me just this weekend when RICH’S RIDE will end because, well, I’m getting kind of old to be doing this crazy thing. My answer…I can do it today, and I’m pretty sure I can do it next year if I keep training, but all I have to to is my best today. We plan too much for what we can’t control anyway.

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