By Phaedra Blocker
For me, and perhaps for you as well, September marks a second “new year.” The long days of summer are waning, and many of us have taken well-earned vacations or at least slowed the pace a little. But now, here we are, jumping into “back-to-school” mode (even if you are not a student, or don’t have children, you are probably having to deal with the extra traffic 😊).
It is a time of beginnings, a time of moving on to new things, and perhaps new perspectives—perspectives that move us in different directions. As Dr. Maya Angelou said in her book, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, “Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”
The transformative work of the Gospel invites us into a process of change, not only so that we might increasingly reflect the image of God, but also so that we may be the body of Christ engaged in changing the world. For as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
So, where are you on your journey? What change is God inviting you into in this new season? What baggage do you need to leave behind? Where do you need to be better equipped for the road as you “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God?” As this “second new year” begins, I pray that you will take a few moments to sit with those questions and hear the Holy Spirit’s loving whisper deep within your soul.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Speaking of journeys, I hope to see you at our annual Summit, October 15-17, 2018, in Atlanta, GA, where our theme will be “Journey to Justice.”