Recently I was talking to a young friend I had been mentoring, and the question was raised about his plans and direction for 2022. It is an old familiar question to me; a question we all have heard and experience at all age levels sometime in our life. The question suggests we like the idea of change, but we want to control the makeup of those changes. Reflect back on the number of new year’s resolutions you have made in the past. Here we are in the early stages of 2022, and things seems to be going the same way for some of us as it did in 2021. You still have not gotten that gym membership yet, lightened your workload, or begun exercising a little. The truth is change is good, but often we don’t want the pain of what it takes to change. All of us like the idea. It sounds good. It feels good. But the newness wears off when it begins to directly cause us some discomfort.
There is an old familiar Bible text that says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
But let me share with you what I shared with my young friend about weight/baggage that I had carried around with me part of 2020 and 2021.
Closer to God in 2022
I knew something had to change. The question was who and what? “Prayer changes things.” I did not want to go into the new year with this baggage. Something had to give.
December of 2021 during the Christmas gathering of the family, one of the unvaccinated members of the family asked me could I do a family Bible study by zoom? In addition, we would come together and fellowship every month. This was a gut bunch. God has a strange sense of humor sometimes. I could not say no. The request forced me to put away my fears and recognize that GOD still wants us to follow his great commission. It was not about my personal feelings.
As we ended our conversation, I wondered how my young friend would view me now. He saw imperfection and flaws. Part of me was a little embarrassed because he was family, and my secret was out.
“If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.” – Mother Teresa