Inside Out

“Make an impact”, “Realize your potential”, “Change the world”.  Sometimes I get weary with all the striving and the pressure our students (and myself) face with trying to make a difference in the world.  Is that what God intends?  I get to be at a significant crossroads in people’s lives and help them discern what their ambitions mean in the light of living Christianly.  What sort of compassion, generosity, diligence is required in our daily lives when we seek to honour God?  I am very thankful for all you who work as unto the Lord and seek to be obedient, faithful witnesses in and through your work and daily activities. Glad we are in this together!

A couple weeks ago I shared with some students who seemed particularly driven. In the midst of our leadership and influence it is critical that we are nurtured by our Source and Life-Giver.  As the prophet Isaiah wrote his challenge from God, will we accept that,

 “‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,in quietness and trust is your strength”?

Yesterday I met with several pastors and leaders from the Mount Royal U area including our MRU chaplains, Kristal Hoff and Art Kung(picture below). During our prayer time Kristal also shared this scripture. I was struck by how much we want to work from the outside in but God insists that somehow things work from the inside out.

MRU chaplains

As Paul writes in Romans 12:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

From Kelly Johnson, Chaplian at University of Calgary