Make a difference
Can you imagine a life where your past is gone and each day is a new adventure? A life where joy and peace rule instead of stress and worry? A life where you can just be yourself? Oswald Chambers said, “Leave the irreparable past in God’s hands, and step out into the irresistible future with him.” Let me encourage you to make this two-fold commitment with me:1. I will live the greatest gift of all – God’s grace. I will extend that grace to others and to myself.2. I will live this truth: “Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be!” Romans 12:5 (The Message Bible). Do you know what and who you were made to be?With Jesus Christ, you can figure out that purpose. Jesus worked hard when he was on this planet to lay down truths that enable us to be whom God made us to be. He also fought for us and took our failures to the cross. As Jesus defeated death, he opened the lines of communication between heaven and earth so that there are no longer any barriers between God and humanity. He even shouted from the mountaintops, “God loves you!” What if we decided to live these truths and embrace God’s love?I believe we see a good example of love in our response to the tsunami devastation. I have been proud of both the government and the American people as we embrace all those wounded and disenfranchised. Our President laid aside politics and appointed two former rivals to tackle the disaster relief effort. Sadly, there’s nothing like tragedy to bring people together. Along with others, our country has the chance to practice God’s grace across all geopolitical and religious lines.Why don’t we show the same love and grace here? Each day as I move through this valley, I see people striving to make it in the resort industry. It’s not easy. Many of us have two or more jobs, and others are barely getting by. Too often the “success” images we construct fail us, and our relationships suffer. I’m not trying to be negative. I am simply advocating another way of living because nothing seems to fulfill us and we’re rarely satisfied. These glorious mountains we enjoy are a gift. The snowflakes that fall truly are presents from heaven. Our bodies, minds, spirits, relationships, the ability to ski – all are donations from God. Changes like: peace instead of worry, refreshment rather than weariness, joy replacing frustration – all would come to us if we committed to embrace and express God’s grace to our families, friends, work associates, on the mountain, and to ourselves. What an amazing transformation that would bring to this valley and to our own hearts!Jesus said, “I look around and see what my Father is up to, and I join him in his work,” John 5:19. OK, so what IS God’s work? I see God’s hand reaching down to us, bringing peace and forgiveness. I watch as God embraces all those who are in pain. I hear God encouraging us to enjoy this life. I experience the Father’s love in ways I never imagined! And because of my own experience of God’s mercies, I envision God on the wings of an eagle, imploring us: “Soar with me.” God longs to wrap his huge, powerful arms around us and walk with us through whatever life deals us.Truth is, if I want to truly soar with God to heights I can’t imagine, I’ve got to let go of the past; I’ve got to realize I am not the master of my own destiny – God is. If you are willing to allow the Lord to lead, then God’s grace, peace and truth in you would become evident to others. You are only fully alive when you embrace his grace. Seek God’s purposes for your life and then use those gifts to help others. Lots of people think our beautiful valley fosters a self-centered lifestyle. Let’s change that one. What matters in life is not how great you look for how long and strong you live. What matters most is the “donation” of our lives and how we live them. The world comes to Vail. For 2005, let’s be who God made us to be and show the truth of God’s love to all we meet. An old Danish proverb states, “What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.”As the glory of the Rockies comes full force in our vision each day to bless us, so let us be God’s blessing to all we meet. God’s purposes in you will truly make a difference in this valley and in the lives of those you encounter on your journey.Gary Wingo leads a gathering called Seekers Fellowship, meeting at 6:30 p.m Sundays at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards.