The bus is just around the corner to take us into 2021. How strange that sounds! I was born in 1952 and never even dreamed of the year 2000 much less 21 years past that! The truth is, I feel old and young at the same time. My body tells me I’m old, but my mind says, “You still got some oomph left!” Admittedly, the oomph is more mental than physical. In light of this, how do I approach this bus taking me into yet another year when aging is inevitable? When my thumbs don’t want to work, and my knees crack, it’s hard to think of what’s next. The truth is, that is exactly what I should be thinking about because with every breath I take, God is to be glorified. There is always a “next” in each of our lives. Let’s explore what the Scriptures have to say about our “now” and our “next.”
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
It doesn’t matter whether we are old or young, we are to be renewed day by day in the purpose of God-his glory. This day-by-day includes our “now.” What are we doing to renew our minds? The truth is, we are all very busy with the things of this life. Some of those things bring us joy and others are just part of what we do because we have to do them. How can we take our busy lives and include mind renewing to the mix? Do we have to give up some things? Well, maybe, but what we’ll gain will far outweigh that. There is not a new method or a magical thing to do to renew our minds. It’s an old method that brings about eternal thinking.
- Pray to your heavenly Father. This is necessary for us so that we don’t lose our connection with God. It’s so easy to lose relationships because we don’t connect often. Don’t allow this to happen to the most important relationship in your life! Praying will be part of mind-renewal daily.
- Read God’s Word. You are saying, “I know, I know.” The point is every follower of Christ knows this, but do we make it a priority in our busy lives? We have to take what we know and put it into practice. Reading God’s Word will bring about mind-renewal.
- Be part of a church body. You may think you don’t have time for church but we all have to remember that the church is people. We need each other. We need others to hold us accountable and to encourage us in our walk with Christ. In the same way, others need us. To live as a community of believers will bring about mind-renewal.
- Listen to sound teaching of the Word. If you are in a church body, you’re probably already doing this. The challenge is to ask ourselves if we are really listening. It takes intentionality to listen well. We have to control our thoughts which come and go so often in our minds. Listening to sound teaching will bring about mind-renewal.
- Talk about God. There are times in our lives when we’re willing to talk about God, but other times we don’t have the courage to do this. When we talk about God and what he’s done in our lives, it shows he’s actually on our minds. Talking about God will bring about mind-renewal.
There are many other things we may be able to do to renew our minds on a daily basis. Think about what would be helpful to you in the “now.” As we approach the 2021 bus, we should be already working on mind-renewal. This will help us as we get to the “next.”
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Once again, age is not a factor in the looking ahead to our “next.” We all are headed for eternity, but before we get there we have to live on this sin-cursed earth. Suffering will be a part of our lives here, but this suffering is preparing for us “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” The comprehension of this glory is so far beyond us. This eternity will be ours as we step on the last bus that will pick us up from this life. For some of us, the last bus may be 2021, but that is in God’s hands. Before eternity, we have jobs to do here in order to bring God glory. We all have a “next.” This bus may take us to a different ministry, or a different home, or bring a child into our family, or a marriage, or the death of a loved one, or a debilitating illness. But whatever 2021 holds for us, we can be sure that God is driving the bus and will provide all the stops we need along the way.
“The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” Isaiah 14:24
The bus is almost here, so beginning “now”, renew your mind for the “next.”