So much in life happens because someone takes the initiative to make it happen! Just ponder that for a moment. The vast majority of people in this world go through their daily routines and do what is expected of them, with little thought to making the effort to change things up and make something new happen. Social scientists have shown this to be an aversion to change or “cognitive dissonance.” We instead desire that which cognitively matches our previous thought patterns and paradigms. Our initial human reaction to change causes us to question our cognitive processes and denies us the reality of the new, discredits the source, or both.
God has made us in His image (Genesis 1:26, 27). I believe one of the greatest theological and practical aspects of this is our free will to choose our daily routines, our friends, our foods, our clothes, our homes, etc. But, if this is true, why are so many in our society complaining and living as if they are only a result of their past, their upbringing, or their environment? They do not understand the reality of human agency. We are free to live, to wake each day with a question: will I follow God’s direction in life or selfishly live for myself? We are free to mend relationships and think the best of people, or criticize and tear them down. We are free to suspend judgment and seek to understand others or just assure ourselves of our limited perspective in self-assured confidence. These are the choices which order our friendships, our neighborhoods, and our national policies on a daily basis!
Today, as I watched the sun came up, I saw a glorious display of color and grandeur, as if God was announcing – “Here you go guys – all the opportunity is yours to choose to initiate goodness, love, and share my redemptive grace today – get out there and do it!” Yes, I am a morning person! God desires for us to hunger for Him each morning, and to do His work with excitement. Just this morning, while it was still dark, I prepared for my day by spending time alone with God. As I opened the book of Ruth, I read the story of how Naomi and her Moabitess daughter-in-law returned to Israel. The very first morning they were in Israel, Ruth got up, went to the fields to seek work, and to find food for the two of them. What a tremendous display of initiative. Ruth was responsible and humble. God used Ruth’s initiative for amazing results. She provided for her family, returned to work day after day, and received a husband and child in the line of King David! What if she had just felt sorry for herself, stayed home, and slept in?
God works with those who hunger for Him, and live on mission for Him as they humbly take initiative to do His work in the world. If you are a child of God, take the initiative in your relationships, form new habits, and approach life as an opportunity and with freedom to serve! There is no telling how God might direct our energy for His glory as we humbly serve.
Expecting Great Things!
Ken B. Kemper, President