Monday, January 14, 2013
The start of a new year always provides a fitting time to examine the trajectory our lives are taking. It’s a good time to review the past, examine the present and consider the future path of our lives. A helpful question I often ask is something like this, "Where are my current actions, attitudes and behaviors invariably leading me?" This is helpful because isn’t it true that our current actions, behaviors and beliefs largely determine our destination. Or to say it another way, your current direction determines your destination. In nearly every area of life, where we end up is based on the path we choose to take. Let me illustrate by telling you about our Christmas lime tree miracle. True story. As you all know, a few months ago we moved here to Florida. In the back yard of our new home is a tree. Not knowing much about horticulture generally, and even less about plant life in Florida specifically I had no idea what kind of tree it was. It’s about 10 feet tall and over the summer it was producing a bright green fruit. Someone told us it was a lime tree. So out of the limes we made guacamole, we squeezed its juices into our water, we even drank the juice of a few limes right off the tree. Over that last few months our limes started to turn yellow and shades of amber. On Christmas Day my brother in law gave us an unexpected gift. He brought in one of our rotten limes and told us that we didn’t have a lime tree at all, we had an orange tree. It’s an orange tree! For the record, orange juice in guacamole isn't so bad… a little sweet, but not awful. Over time the type of tree was proved by the fruit it produced. Given enough time the tree would inevitably be shown for what it is, not a lime but an orange tree. The outcome (oranges) was determined by what it was (orange tree). Jesus once said “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matt 7:18). Who we are (our current beliefs, actions, attitudes and values) determines what fruit will be produced in our lives. Now at the beginning of the year, I encourage all of us to make a life course evaluation. Is your life - spiritually, financially, relationally, vocationally, physically- heading in the direction you want it to end? Our direction determines our destination. If all is on track then I pray you'll be encouraged to press on toward the prize. But if your direction is aiming toward a bad ending then know there is hope. The good news is that Jesus always allows course adjustments, even all out U-turns. You can turn around at this New Year, adjust your course and Christ will help you. May the Lord be a light for your path in 2013 illuminating the way that leads to life... life in abundance!