For many of us, we could wish as we look back on decades, that we would have done some things differently. So as to achieve goals. Goal setting is not bad in and of itself. In fact it is good, as long as it and everything else is kept in perspective. To be sure, some sacrifice their souls or their families to achieve their goals. Their goal may be a good one, but it becomes their life, an idol in their lives.
When all is said and done, what is the most important thing; the one thing needed? It is to follow Jesus, individually and together with those of the Jesus community. This means becoming like the one we follow. And at the heart of this is the Jesus creed: loving God with all of our being and doing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
This involves character issues that we all need to keep working on. Issues of priorities in our lives. What we are doing and not doing. Ongoing confession of sins. Involvement with others in the Jesus community. And loving others in the world. All with the goal of following Jesus in our lives. Individually and together with other followers.
This means alot in everyday life. When someone gives us the shrift. Or labels us a certain way. Or belittles us in front of others. Or shows no respect for us as a person. What do we do? How do we respond? Do we react? Hopefully we can learn to stay our ground as a simple follower of Jesus. And find others as soul partners in this following.
I can be a big talker. For me following Jesus oftentimes means keeping my mouth shut. And working extra hard at listening. Letting someone else get the last word in a discussion or debate. And above all loving. Even the unlikeables and in the difficult places and times. Sometimes all we can do is pray. Of course prayer is always vital and so easily lagging behind in our practice, causing us to lag behind in our following Jesus.
Lord, Let us truly be your followers. Day in and day out. By your grace and by your Spirit. Together. As well as in those lonely, difficult places and times. Let us know you better, and true fellowship with you. And do so with others. To your glory. Amen.