March 15, 2011

March 15: Are you ready to turn your life upside down?

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By Jodi Beyeler, news bureau director
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-4 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
Last year, my sister and her husband received a phone call on April Fools’ Day that turned their lives upside down. Fortunately it wasn’t a joke: the twin boys they sought to adopt had been born…almost two months early!

In that moment, like Abram, they needed to get over their fears, trust God and follow a path to an unknown place. They had to believe that where God was taking them was where they were supposed to go.

And yet, isn’t this approach to daily living so difficult? Our culture tells us to seek a comfortable life with little risk. We are supposed to set goals, make plans and stick to them. We play it safe by staying in places and with people that we know well. We all seem so awfully busy trying to just keep up that we don’t have much time for out-of-the-ordinary requests, surprises or spontaneity. And who has time to even listen for where the voice of God is calling us?

But what are we missing out on when we don’t? What are we missing by not venturing into the unknown? To name a few, we are missing opportunities to assist a stranded stranger, eat meals with a new immigrant family, help a sick neighbor and converse with our enemies. Ultimately, we are missing out on opportunities to become more human.

PRAYER
God, help me to become more human by slowing down, listening for your voice and allowing myself to be open to follow wherever it is that you are calling me to go today, even if that means having my life turned upside down.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-4 (NRSV)
1Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

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Comments (11)

  1. Thanks, Jodi. What a good meditation with which to begin my day.

    Ann Hostetler March 15, 2011 |
  2. Author Bruce Main calls these moments of opportunity “disorienting dilemmas” and says they are necessary for spiritual growth. Godbless those who “cross the road” for experiences that provide growth.

    Regina Smith March 15, 2011 |
  3. Those boys are not finished turning the parent’s lives upside down!! It has been so much fun watching them grow through the Happy Friday pics! Thanks for the challenge and inspiration this day, to take time for the important. Aunt Rita

    Rita Miller March 15, 2011 |
  4. JODI! Your written words articulate my beliefs. However, there are then struggles to follow my head & heart. Have a sweet day burrowing in your bureau! Hugs, your Auntie Patti

    Patricia MacGregor March 15, 2011 |
  5. Jodi-
    Thanks for your thoughts today as I hustle around preparing for a trip, always preparing for something.
    You have inspired me with some ideas for the afternoon.
    Blessing-Lisa

    Lisa Yoder March 15, 2011 |
  6. Thanks – the challenges for living with new realities never stop – your meditation today inspires us to keep listening… and following.

    Helen Lapp March 15, 2011 |
  7. very timely for me. thanks for the thoughts and time to create the challenge.

    Randy Springer March 15, 2011 |
  8. Age didn’t seem to have a deterring effect on Abram. At any age, or at every age, we need to be ready for new adventures, and to be called by God.

    Flo Rheinheimer Harnish March 15, 2011 |
  9. Jodi, Thank you for reminding me to live by faith, to take a few risks, to listen for and follow that unexpected call, and in so doing to become more human(e).

    Jim Brenneman, President Goshen College March 15, 2011 |
  10. Exactly on point. Great sermon material in a contemporary example. Thanks!

    Kathy March 16, 2011 |
  11. I really like this. It came to me at exactly the right time because we are doing a strategic plan for the organization I work in. Blessings.

    Karen Flaherty March 16, 2011 |