Happy New Year! The hope of a New Year, a time to write another chapter in our life story. We all have a story, a history, places we have been, people we’ve met, things we have been a part of; together it represents the story of our life. The New Year beckons us to look back while at the same time look forward. What is our life story and how will this new chapter look? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Over the holiday season we spend time reflecting; thinking and remembering the events of the past year. We remember those we have had the joy of knowing and spending time with. We remember those who have left us. The memories of their lives, shared with us, their life story. We sometimes stop and think, what story am I writing?
Aware or not, we write our story every day we are here. We record in the minds of people how we treat them. We record in the minds of people the things they see us do. We make an impression on those we encounter each day. It is said everyone brings a smile to someone’s face; some by coming and others by going.
I know that we would all like to be remembered fondly. We all want people to see the good in us. We want to be appreciated for the things we have to offer. Trouble is it is not ours to say, other people will determine our story.
Take a look at the political arena. Candidates try their best to convince people who they are and what they stand for. They spend millions to get the word out. It becomes a full-time effort with a large staff to help reshape their story.
In the end is the effort worth it? Do they really change people’s minds about who they are and what they stand for? Maybe, the successful ones. No matter what is said or done people are going to believe what they want to believe. That leaves me wondering; how can I write the story I want others to read and remember?
There are two types of biographies, authorized and unauthorized. They tell different sides of the same life. One is what we want people to remember. The other sheds some light in our closet of things we wish were kept hidden. Somewhere in the middle is the true story of our life. Our story will always be filtered through the minds of others, whether they knew us well or not. My hope is that people will see the presence of God and His work through me.
Luke 9:18-20; nlt, One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!”
Jesus posed an interesting question; “Who do you say that I am?”
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself that question? Have you ever taken the time to investigate the answer? What is the truth? Who is this one they call Jesus? Lee Strobel did. His website, leestobel.com, shares this;
“Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune. Lee was educated at the University of Missouri (Bachelor of Journalism degree) and Yale Law School (Master of Studies in Law degree). He was a journalist for 14 years at The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, winning Illinois’ highest honor for public service journalism from United Press International. He also led a team that won UPI’s top award for investigative reporting in Illinois.”
An accomplished investigative reporter at the top of his game, Lee was an Atheist, he didn’t believe in God let alone Jesus. With the pursuit of an investigative legal reporter, he set out to prove once and for all the errors of the Bible and the myth it purported. He ended up in a very different place.
His website says, “After investigating the evidence for Jesus, Lee became a Christian in 1981.”
Where will our story lead people? Will people who investigate our lives find their way to God? Will they find evidence that leads them to conclude we lived to please God? Will they share with others how our efforts helped them see the love found in no one else but Christ?
During the last days of His life Jesus had some company, a contingent of Roman Guards. They arrested Him, brought him to the chief priest, before the Roman Governor, back to the religious leaders, and back to the Governor. They brought Him to be flogged and led Him through the streets carrying His cross. Then they nailed Him to it and raised it up. When Jesus uttered His final words, “It is finished.” They looked upon his dead body and came to this conclusion.
Matthew 27:54; NLT; The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
In the words of the anonymous author of One Solitary Life; “I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the Navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that ONE SOLITARY LIFE!
What’s our story? How has our life affected those around us? How have we made a difference in the lives of those we come in contact with every day? Have we shared the Good News and love of Christ?