Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Next Best Thing

(This post was oringally published at http://www.followingthestar.org/)

James 5:7-10

We’re always waiting for the next thing. The semester to end, Christmas to come, school year to break, life to begin. We say, “I can’t wait until…” or “When I get out of school.” James says that while waiting for the next thing, we need the discipline of daily obedience to God.

James uses the example of a farmer who is patient intentionally. He does not throw seed on the ground and hope that the sun and rain will do their thing. He is deliberately patient. He takes responsibility for the land, fertilizing, weeding, tilling, and nurturing. He repairs his equipment, works with the tools, and does everything that he thinks is necessary to be prepared for a good crop.

Like a farmer, we have work to do while we patiently await the “next” thing—graduation, college, marriage, career, etc. We can easily get caught up in the “when I get to…” mode and forget about the gifts of responsibilities.

The gift of showing love rather than gossip to the person who shares a locker. The opportunity to sow secret seeds of kindness to a child or a senior adult. The chance to treat parents with respect and gratitude rather than grumbling and arguing. The next thing you know, we’ve arrived.

Prayer: As I seek your patience, help me focus on today, God, and the gifts that are in front of me.

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