To say that this past holiday season has been a whirlwind for us Ritzes, would be an understatement. Now that February is here and the holidays are squarely behind us, I can now reflect on the past few months and settle into what I hope and dream 2019 will be. Not that 2018 in its entirety was a terrible year, but for us, it was punctuated by tragedy with the abrupt loss of my best friend's son. He was a go big or go home kind of individual, and that's probably what I appreciated most about him. That kid was fearless by anyone's standards. As we reflected on his life and tried to deal with the sadness and sorrow by remembering the good amidst the bad, we remembered a rather poignant quote of his, "Almost is not a story." It was his way of bluntly letting you know that if your story ends with the words,"... and we ALMOST such and such," that it wasn't worth the telling.
That may not be the gentlest way of putting it, but he wasn't wrong. Biblically, it's pretty sound as well. Ecclesiastes 11:4 tells us, "He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap," meaning those who merely think and dream of doing things never really get to the part of "living life abundantly." Those who allow fear to hamper their effectiveness for the Lord, have the wrong person on the throne of their lives. Those who only start a project without completing it and reaping the rewards of their efforts are foolish.
Frankly, if you apply this concept to the many facets of your life, it can be quite motivating. It's only now (ironically), in February that I am looking at what I hope to accomplish in 2019; at the same time that many of you might be just about ready to set things aside that you hoped to do. It happens to all of us; it's what we all do at about this point in time in the new year. That part about completing things, not leaving things half done along with Bryce's quote, has me uber motivated this year.
Whether it is the effort involved, or some fiscal reason, or maybe some calamity has befallen you already this year, don't be daunted. "ALMOST IS NOT A STORY." Whatever it is you're hoping to accomplish in 2019, continue to dream big! Don't let fear be the authority figure in your life. Be doers of the Word, not merely hearers who deceive themselves. Run the race to completion fixing your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith.
Spring has sprung and we here at Grace Church want to encourage all the different variety of "budding" spiritual gifts out there. We have a few contributors already lined up and if you would like to be considered as well, send Pastor Jason an email. It can be written or even a video. Testimonies and maybe even some Grace Church history could also be topics in the future.