How will we best
use the “new year” which we have started? Such a question requires that we
evaluate 2019 if we are going to make note of our utilization of the fresh
months of 2020. Self-evaluation is not a fun task, for we sometimes tend to be
harder on ourselves than others might be. Such evaluation wonders about the
future, not the past. If I can get beyond the material things I’d like, or the
weight I’d like to lose, or the improved manner in which I could use my time—if
I can pass those egocentric views of life, perhaps I can stumble upon what
Jesus would have me do.
The Gospel of Luke, chapter 6, verses
43-45 reveals a bit of what our Savior thinks we might actually contribute to
2020. “A healthy tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a poor tree bear good
fruit. Every tree is known by the fruit it bears; you do not pick figs from
thorn bushes or gather grapes from bramble bushes. A good person brings good
out of the treasure of good things in their heart. A bad person brings bad out
of their treasure of bad things. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”
(Luke 6:43-45, TEV).
A couple days ago, I shoveled our driveway
in the bitter cold. I didn’t want to, but it had to be cleared and our snow
blower wouldn’t start. It was enough to make a preacher cuss! If you had to shovel that day, you know there
was a crust of icy snow on top of the softer snow, and then a layer of ice
beneath the snow. It wasn’t easy or fun. And you know what city snowplows do at
the end of the driveway, don’t you?
I finished, then looked across the street
at Jim’s driveway. Jim is always out before me and getting his drive done, then
helping older folks in the neighborhood. But Jim was sick. So, it occurred to
me that I could shovel Jim’s driveway. Did I mention it was bitter cold, icy,
and that it was a difficult snow to shovel? Also, I didn’t want to shovel
anymore! But it would be the right thing to do, so I did it.
Don’t think I was being nice, for I was reluctant,
and the Lord knows my thoughts. I like doing neighbor’s areas if my snow blower
is working. Shoveling? Not so much. Yet I wonder if that’s not the kind of
situation Jesus is asking us to consider. “A good person brings good out of the
treasure of good things in their heart.” Perhaps you and I are expected to add
good things to our world in 2020. Maybe that’s what Jesus is asking.
In our future of 2020, maybe we can please
our Lord and Savior by bringing good things out of our faithful hearts and
minds. Good things that reflect the love of God for us. Maybe big things—maybe
little things—but good things. We can do this!
By the way, after it was all done, I felt
good about sharing the little bit I could share.
See you Sunday, Tim Johnson