It is that time of year when many will reflect on the past 12 month and ponder the next 12 months. It is a good time for self-reflection. One of the great truths is that you will never get anywhere if you do not move. I am not speaking only of a physical movement, but your movement as a person. It could be an intellectual move. It could be an emotional move. It could be a physical move. I hope that we will all make a spiritual move in the next twelve months. The Bible admonishes us to move towards God in all areas of our life, no matter what situation we might find ourselves under.
I have memories of when I was a young child visiting a local department store. Riding the escalator is one of those experiences that is close to visiting an amusement park at that age. I could ride up and down the escalator all day, if my parent would have allowed. One day I learned an important truth about escalators. You are either moving one way or another but you never stop (unless it is not operating). That particular day I rode the escalator up with my parents. I then decided to ride down while they walked to the particular store department. The store was not too busy so guess what I decided to do when I reached the bottom of the down escalator? Yes, I attempted to go up the down escalator. I thought to myself that it would be fun. Then I decided that I would try and go up the down escalator thinking that I could get to the top and catch back up to my parents. Now this would be no problem for an older child, or an adult, even though it would take some work. I gave it my best and made it part way before I tired. The challenge with this is the escalator does not stop moving down when I stop moving up. It carried me back to where I started. The more I tried to go up the down escalator the more I grew tired until my parents figured out what was going on and from the top made me go up the up escalator.
The lesson that I learned that day related to needing to move in our lives to get somewhere is this: We never really stop, we are either moving forward or sliding back, losing ground. Life is just that way. The Bible reminds us of this same truth. “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) This short verse communicates the same truth by using the metaphor for “walking” to correlate with moving. Paul reminds the follower of Jesus that there is no such thing as a spiritual “bus stop.” Here he is reminding us that we are called to push forward in our relationship with Jesus. This means that a failure to push forwards results in backsliding. This is something that we all know about.
So what are your plans for moving forward in 2021? This is a great time to reflect on the progress, or lack of spiritual growth, in 2020 and make some changes for the New Year. The movement in your life could be reading your Bible each day. It could be regularly attending church services. It could be plugging into a small group. Of how about getting involved in a ministry? I can testify that the steps of movement in my life have always resulted in growth. A growth that I would not have experienced if I had stopped walking by faith.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson