Friday, January 4, 2008

Live Creatively, Friends!

Galatians 6:1-6 (from The Message translation)
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.

I was thinking a lot about new year resolutions today, and about new habits I really want to try to cultivate. I’ve realized that as I’ve gotten older, my resolutions are now not so much about career goals. Been there, done that. I don’t mean that in a bad way, mind you; I've gotten to make a good living with my art and design and photography and typographic skills for almost 30 years and I’m sincerely grateful for that and still loving it!

The resolutions which are the most important to me nowadays are about more personal things. More about striving to be encouraging and uplifting and comforting to others whenever God presents me the opportunity. So here’s one more resolution for 2008:

I’m going to write an actual note of encouragement or thanks to someone every Saturday, and send it by snail mail. In this day of texting and email, how special and cool it is to get a material piece of personal correspondence in our actual, non-virtual mailbox! Especially when it’s out of the blue from someone totally unexpected. Am I right, or am I right?

And in closing, here’s an excerpt from my reading this week out of my little antique book of devotionals:
There is so much to be set right in the world, there are so many to be led and helped and comforted, that we must continually come in contact with such in our daily life. Let us only take care, that, by the glance being turned inward, or strained onward, or lost in vacant reverie, we do not miss our turn of service, and pass by those to whom we might have been sent on an errand straight from God.

– Elizabeth Charles

Look up and now down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and lend a hand.

– Edward E. Hale

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