There are forty-one days until Thanksgiving, forty-four days until the start of Advent, seventy-one days until Christmas morning, and seventy-eight days until the beginning of the new year. I’m guessing that if your life is anything like mine, you also have personal countdowns you could add to this list. Perhaps your countdown is for an upcoming birthday, the end of a school semester, the next time you will see your family, a doctor’s appointment or test result coming up, or a special event or trip. There is always a countdown to something. And a countdown is just another way to say that you are waiting for something to happen.
Not too long ago I found myself with a hand full of the most surprising war tools. In my right hand, multiple bottles of assorted potions sitting between the crevices of my four fingers with my thumb curled around them. In my left hand—a comb.
“I hope we are going to learn about Jesus!” These were the words my three-year-old, and newly minted preschooler, spoke to me as we chatted about what she might do at school the next day. “We didn’t do any activities, but we did learn about Jesus!” was the report from my four-year-old after his first day of school.
One of the hardest parts of being a young adult is building Christian community. Whether you live in your hometown and are trying to find new friends since your hometown friends have left, or whether you have moved to a new city and are trying to find a new group of friends, you probably have felt the struggles of building a community of friends.
Stop me if you have heard this, “Boy, has this been a difficult season.” That is an attitude I have heard time and time again. I think we have given up on the idea of ever returning to normal, but we should not give up on the Church getting back to what it does best. However, in this season, I wonder if the Church needs a reminder of its purpose.
For the past year or so, many people have experienced burnout at their jobs. Whether you work in an office, at home, or in ministry, you’ve likely felt the pressure. Many people had to work longer hours and adjusted to working at home—and the combination of all these factors has led to a collective burnout.
Back-to-school season feels full of possibilities this year. The possibility that school will feel a little more “normal” this year seems within reach, as some schools shift away from the pandemic-related restrictions they used last year. The possibility that school will be just as messy, with a return to quarantining and virtual classes, is also on the table. The possibility that some kids will get sick and some kids will not is also a real threat. School field trips or organized sports and activities may be possible again . . . or not. And in the midst of all of these possibilities, there are the traditional transitions of adjusting to new classmates, teachers, and routines.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was wrongly accused and wrongly convicted of a crime He did not commit. The Sanhedrin would go to any means necessary to silence this rabbi, even to the extreme of breaking the Eighth Commandment to have Jesus put to death.
This blog post is adapted from Redeemed: Our Lives as Sinners and Saints by Dan Hoppen.
I’ve been running for the past five years or so, and while I wouldn’t consider myself a professional by any means, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the past few years—like how to stabilize my breathing and how to run at a steady pace. Similarly, in the Christian life, we have many lessons to learn. I like to think that a lot of the lessons I’ve learned in running apply to the Christian life as well.