May 2017 bring you joy during the journey. In conversation with a sister of mine, I was reminded of the important work I have to do in 2017. She reminded me that OUR MOST IMPORTANT WORK is the work we do on and with ourselves, "inside work."
In the winter months Tim, the handyman, doing work at our home spends most of his time on inside jobs. While there is still some outside work to be done, the majority of his time is devoted to projects that can be completed by spending quality time inside.
I believe Jesus is clear that he wants his followers to reach outward, share outwardly, and pursue holiness. However, Jesus gives us clear instructions that our piety and purpose are best shaped from the inside work we do.
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray."
-Matthew 6:1,6 (I suggest reading all of Matthew 6)
I am really looking forward to my year in Indiana as I travel and get to know the stories of our churches and communities throughout the state. I am expecting a great year of prayer and passion for the people and ministries that make up the United Methodist movement.
What is the inside work you need to do that will free you to be happy with yourself and available to God? As my sister would say it's an "inside job."
Before you rush to save the world, pursue your favorite cause, criticize others, complain about external limitations, thank God for a New Year, and the opportunity to work on self.
In the words of author Terri Tempest Williams, "the eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time."
Have a love-filled New Year in 2017!
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble