Fresh start

Some words from Rich Dixon to start the new year:


How to begin – resolutions, goals, focus words?

Like you, I’ve tried those because they were the cool thing to do. But my heart wasn’t in it.

As a teacher, I like questions. Long-term, open questions that challenge me and guide my thinking. Honest questions with no agenda. So perhaps I’ll begin 2022 by reminding myself of a question.

Before I speak or act, how much better would my interactions be if I first wondered, “How can I be helpful?”

It’s a difficult question for me, because this wheelchair guy often feels helpless. I want to fix stuff and build stuff. Since I can’t do any of that, I tend to wallow in “helpless.” It’s a dark lie, a trap in which I suspect most of us are caught at some point.

So I’ll use the opening days of 2022 to remind us, you and mostly me, that Jesus didn’t ask us to build and fix. He invited us to love and serve our neighbors. If we do that, we’re following Him and fulfilling our purpose.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

“Deny myself” sounds like sacrifice. Perhaps I need to let go of my insistence on serving within my personal happy zone. It’s a fundamental choice.

Will I follow Jesus, or will I create a mock-up of Jesus who follows me?

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I want to shovel my neighbor’s sidewalk and end human trafficking. You want to feed every hungry child. We can’t do those things, but we’re not helpless.

Each of us can seek to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

We get a fresh start every morning, a daily opportunity to love and serve our neighbors.

Happy New Year!

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