NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, Part 3

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Send the Parcel On

Five large parcels arrived at my house last month by courier. Having traveled halfway across the globe they were somewhat battered and bruised. Their cardboard walls dimpled as I hefted each box into the garage. Puckered and dented corners threatened to burst open when stacked one on top of another. Their journey was not yet done, though. My job was to reroute them one step further. I wondered whether they would survive this last leg of their tour. Wrapping them with clear packing tape I hoped my efforts would help the parcels find their journey’s end in one piece. I did not want the value of their contents to be diminished by any lack of care on my part.  As I paid the postage for the parcels’ rerouting I caught the look of concern on the face of the FedEx representative. She added a few more lengths of tape reinforcing. It wasn’t pretty, but, she assured me, the parcels would make it.

Our third resolution is like that parcel-moving venture: Send the Parcel On. First, we resolved to put hands and feet of loving deeds to our heart of faith in God; to be reformed Scrooges (Resolutions, Part 1). Secondly, we resolved to appreciate the true value of difficulties in our lives under the hand of God; to joyfully anticipate the spiritual growth trials provide us. We lovingly do, and joyfully are done by (Resolutions, Part 2). In resolution three, we choose to fulfill our role in God’s overall scheme of things.

Sometimes our role may seem mundane, pedestrian, lacking in the glory we envision people such as ourselves are capable of managing. In that case, Scripture references regarding humility will be just the prescription we need (“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6).  Sometimes our role may seem too challenging, more difficult than we thought His plans would involve. Then verses regarding courage will apply (“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9). Sometimes our role may feel unimportant, insignificant, the quality of our work of little importance. At those times promptings like “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” will speak loudly. We always need vision, the insight to appreciate the bigger picture; we need to see that we are not merely bricklayers, but apprentices working together on a project of unimagined proportions.

Imagine me receiving those five parcels and thinking, “My part in this project is too mundane. I shall open the boxes and see if there is something more exciting I can do with the contents than merely sending the parcels on”. What would happen?

Or what if I looked at those five parcels and pondered, “What if their contents are dangerous? What if I might be injured by handling them?” What would happen?

Or what if I tossed those five battered parcels into my trunk and delivered them to the FedEx office as was my task, but failed to reinforce their damaged corners? What if I shoved them toward the counter recklessly, disregarding their weakened condition? What would happen?

Brothers and sisters, we each have a role in God’s great venture. It is neither too small nor too big for us; it is uniquely designed for us alone. It is a perfect fit for idiosyncratic us. So let’s resolve to get on with it. Be an active, thriving, loving, dependable member of the Eternity Project, God’s plan for this world. Don’t let the task fall heedlessly at your feet. Send the parcel on.

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (II Thessalonians 2:16,17).

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