Making space for God to work

By Bishop Jonathan Holston

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

Some of our worst fears and greatest accomplishments are realized at the point of a decision. Often, we find ourselves in places of decision with no answers in sight.

Maybe it’s contemplating a change in employment or choosing to accept that scholarship offer from a school other than the hometown favorite. Maybe it’s having to leave a dysfunctional relationship or telling your family about that religious experience that causes a change in your occupation and their lives.

Whatever the situation, the decision to move in any direction demands our undivided attention. In many ways, it causes us to ponder the simplicity of our youth when those older and wiser exclaimed, “You’ll understand when you’re older.”

And while age does help usher in some of the wisdom and knowledge one might desire, there are many times you wish you were little again. There are days when the innocence of siting at the “little” table of life trumps all knowledge gained by graduating to the “big” table. From the days of youth to adulthood, I wonder if we are sleepwalking through life until we run into that proverbial “wall of decision.”

Give this some thought. How long have you lived? I’m not speaking about how many years your heart has been pumping or the number of birthdays you’ve celebrated. I’m asking how many moments have you felt truly alive? These would have been the times you’ve made a decision to do something that brought joy to your existence. It made you exclaim, “This is what I was put on earth to do!” It’s an emotional moment when you’ve made a decision to step into the unknown and experienced a exhilarating moment where you felt truly alive.

Recently, I shared that type of moment with members of the Task Force on Children and Poverty when visiting several of our schools in South Carolina. We were sharing with the students and faculty monetary gifts received from our Million Book Effort. It was an exciting day to see those smiles on the faces of students and teachers. It was a moment when I felt truly alive.

Sadly, these exhilarating moments are all-too-infrequent in our lives. Life slips away from us so easily. We have so much to do in such a short period of time that those precious moments of being truly alive are limited.

So, once again, it’s a new year. We have hurriedly made a list of the things we will resolve to do in the following months. Some of these resolutions are new, but much of the list contains simply “carryovers” from years gone by.

Maybe the one resolution to make sure is on your list this year is the one to be truly alive. So that when you find yourself at one of those places of decision this year, I hope you can truly live out your destiny and shout with joy, “This is what I was put on earth to do!”

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