By Mark Azzara
We don’t make big decisions (a new house, job or living location) without first discerning that it’s best. And yet what looks good to me today may wind up being very bad tomorrow for me or others.
In John Donne’s words, no man (or woman) is an island. We live in community, or more correctly, communities – e.g., the town, congregation and family of which I am a part. When I make big decisions without regard to the value of community and my place in it I also forget about the people who are in it with me and who may pay the price for my forgetfulness.
For example, after spending last summer volunteering in a rural area with an extraordinary poverty problem, I thought that perhaps I should relocate there permanently. But if God wanted me to relocate I would have had peace in my heart about it. And there was none at all. I found peace in remaining where I am, building up the communities to which I already belong rather than joining a community where I don’t belong.
God knows everything about every community. And only he knows the one(s) where I belong. My challenge, as noted last week, is to listen and obey – a response that takes a lifetime of practice as God attunes me to his voice rather than to my own. That transformation is a huge part and proof of what we call “salvation.”
All God’s blessings – Mark
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- A Burning Heart Is Ours for the Asking - May 1, 2017
- The debate that shouldn’t be happening - Apr 24, 2017
- Repentance becomes real for me - Apr 17, 2017
- Speak now, think later? - Apr 3, 2017
- Is persecution God’s gift to us? - Mar 27, 2017
- Lent’s message for pastors - Mar 20, 2017
- Middlebury College: Shouting, instead of listening, learning - Mar 14, 2017