Sitting, waiting for an appointment yesterday, I scrolled through my pictures and landed up on this …
Just sit and take it in. We are in the “death” of winter but you can now start to hear the birds singing. Trees and bushes are budding. Spring is coming. Looking at this picture, I told my wife, “man, I miss green. I miss color.” This picture restores a small part of myself. I’m not a cold-weather man. I love heat and green grass, long days, warm evenings. I long for summer’s return. It is good for my soul.
Narnia was frozen under the spell of White Witch. It was perpetual winter. There was no hope under the reign of the evil witch. She turned her enemies to stone. The children stepped through the wardrobe into a land under a curse.
Welcome to your life in 2022.
Then, rumors of “Aslan” started to spread in Narnia. A name that prompted fear even in his followers hearts and yet exploded with hope and excitement. “Is he safe?” asked Lucy. “No, he is not safe … but he is good”.
Welcome to your life in 2022.
“Aslan is on the move” and so is Jesus. The world mocks religion. Elon Musk and others are trying to figure out how to live forever merging technology into the body. Steve Jobs believed in eternity if only for it to be some way for his brilliance to continue on. Jesus will come like a storm. He will level mountains. The earth will shake and tremble before him, chains will break as Heaven and Earth meet. Holy is name of Jesus. Kings will bow before Him. Putin and Xi and Biden will discover they have no control over Him. The “world” will discover that all those deviant god-less things they tell us are “normal” or “beautiful” … are not. Aslan is coming, winter is dying and Summer is coming. Jesus will restore everything and bring life to death.
Until then, you have a role to play. The hour is short and His return could be at any moment. Russia sits about to invade Ukraine. If they do, expect China to move on Taiwan and Iran to go hostile on Israel. We literally could be sitting on the verge of WW3 … and most of America is just worried about what we’re going to watch on Netflix tonight. You have neighbors and men you work with, men who used to attend Manschool but they’ve just checked out. Men are out there doing life completely alone = not a place they need to be.
The opportunities for you to do ministry and to speak life into others abound. It is why God created you – to take the Gospel to the earth and to make disciples. You are equipped to do just that. “Not me, I’ve screwed up too much”. I’ve got news for you, your screw ups are your story. Don’t pose as this righteous, “sin very little” religious man. NOTHING turns off a man in need more than that. Be real. Be transparent. Screw ups? I’ve got buckets full of them. Press on beyond the screw ups, get up and get moving. There are lives to rescue, marriages to save, families to restore, sons out there with checked out Dads needing their Dads to come back to life. “The needs are many, the workers are few.” Get moving.
To do this, you’re going to need to fuel up. Let me challenge you to wake up and to make a plan to do something radically different to fuel yourself in 2022. Perhaps you’ll agree to doing as many of these as you can for your new 2022Discipline. They won’t be easy. It is far easier to get home from work and eat a bag of chips than it is to take a ruck sack, walk a few miles at the park and run up/down those steps in front of Columbus High. One guy is going to end up fat and tired, the other is going to end up being strong and equipped. Some possible Disciplines…
- Up early listening to Lectio365.
- Reading through the New Testament in one year. Maybe start at the back. Skip Revelation (it’s a tough one), read the 1 John’s. 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Hebrews. Timothy. Underline, highlight, write in the margins. Dig deep.
- There are 31 Proverbs. Read one every day of the month. Repeat.
- Read the devotional New Morning Mercies daily.
- What 3-4 podcasts will you follow and listen to … daily? Wild at Heart. Become Good Soil. The Aggressive Life.
- Purge your life of the junk – cut the news. Eliminate the Netflix series full of sex and violence. “Junk in, junk out.” Fill your life with that kind of fuel and your engine will break down.
- Exercise. Push-ups, pull ups, crunches, jump rope, lift weights, run, walk with rucksack up and down big hills. Push yourself.
- Get around a small group of big men. Strong men. Men who have your back.
- Practice the Sabbath. Fast from technology including your cell phone for 24-hours. No TV. No internet. Eat good food. Enjoy the outdoors. 6pm Friday night to 6pm Saturday night. Disconnect from the world and its influence on your life. Don’t let it in.
- Read great Christian books. There are so many. They won’t read themselves. There is a lot of wisdom and insight in those pages waiting for the man willing to go and find it.
- Fast. Maybe “Fast Friday”. No breakfast and no lunch. Suffer a bit. See how much your body/flesh craves gluttony because … it does. Give something up for the LORD. Don’t “fast” the ESPN app. Fast … food.
To dig roots deep this year, just imagine if you made you list like that one and you did it. How different would you feel next Christmas? How might your life be different? How much deeper would your roots be? How much more equipped will you “become” (we are about the process of men becoming) for the calling God has on your life?