As long as a person is capable of self renewal, they are a living being.
--Henri Frederick Amiel
Last weekend I joined a great group of people from my church to play in the snow, work puzzles, play games late into the night and enjoy bluegrass music up at Tall Timber Ranch near Leavenworth. Our friendships deepened. We filled our souls with utter beauty. We returned renewed.
I am also learning that renewal is a multi-faceted process involving more than temporary escape from the people, noise and obligations in our lives. Renewal can also take place in our hearts and be reflected in our attitudes, no matter the people or situations surrounding us. This kind of renewal is deep and spiritual and has the potential to be life changing. It begins for me when I acknowledge and thank God that there is rhyme and reason, a process and a timing in the universe that includes each one of us. Such renewal on begins each time I dip into the Bible.
The longer I live and the deeper I venture into life’s myriad experiences, the more I depend on God’s obvious touch and inspiration, for I intend to contribute enthusiasm, hope, strength and peace into a world that frequently presents health scares, economic uncertainty, a lack of shared values and career instability, I know how I want to respond, but I do not have the strength in and of myself to always be strong. In my quiet, reflective times as well as across the table, drinking coffee with a friend, I ask God to meet me.
Life never lets up. The struggle is ongoing for each one of us on many levels. But God is on duty; he is aware of all that brings us to our breaking points and onto our knees. And while His promises can soothe our worries, God also marries each tender promise with a request that we step forward and trust — Oh, so hard to do at times! — and incorporate Him into our daily thoughts and plans.
Renewal can be experienced in yet another form. If we ask God for insight into the ways He is working in our lives, God will supply each one of us with new dreams and paths, hope and energy. Although such dreams can complicate our lives, stripping away our treasured routines and comforting activities, requiring that we walk down unknown paths and step over to new venues of faith, these new adventures can also clarify our ultimate purpose for living. By working toward the goal of living within God’s plan for our lives, trusting Him and seeking Him daily, we have greater potential to experience prosperity. New friends. Personal fortitude. Deep and passionate growth. Strength for our family members and friends. Hope for a world in collective angst and struggle.
Let’s ask God to help us discover ways to find renewal, for there are plans God has for each of us. Let’s each renew so we will build the courage to live extraordinary lives.