(1 Peter 1:13)
The late President John Kennedy liked to tell a story about his grandfather, Fitzgerald. As a small boy in Ireland, Fitzgerald would walk home from school with a group of boys. The others in the group would climb over the jagged, high cobblestone walls near the path home, since that route was shorter.
Some of the fences were 10-12 feet high, and were difficult to climb. The other, older boys all were able to do it, but Fitzgerald always had to go around. But one day, he took his cap off and threw it over the wall. Going home without his cap meant that he would be punished, so he knew that he would have to climb over to retrieve it. And he did.
Each of us occasionally needs to create a challenge for ourselves, which forces us to reach out farther than normal, to do something we would not normally do.
Isn't that what faith is about? What walls are crowding your life, perhaps blocking your way? They loom over you, intimidating you and draining your enthusiasm. In the New Year ahead, think about those areas of your life with God that are blocked by a lack of commitment, laziness, or just simply because you don't really desire to be close to Him. You know those things are necessary for your growth as a believer, but so far you just haven't achieved the impetus to get things moving.
Perhaps it's time to throw your cap over a wall. Set a challenge for yourself that will cause you to stretch beyond where you have settled down in your Christian life. Reach out to someone. Volunteer. Make a difference. Pray. Give. Read your Bible. Attend Sunday School and Worship regularly. Maybe even come to an evening service from time to time. Whatever it is, give yourself to it. Commit your heart to Him, so that this time next year you can look back and be thankful for a year in which you drew closer to your Savior.
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com