I am so tired of rhetoric. The scene replays in any venue; politics and the process of winning an election, spiritual values, and what you hear from the front of any gathering, or the needs of emerging villages and people. Rhetoric appears to recognize the problem without concrete solutions or demonstrated action. Rhetoric claims the moral high ground without paying the price of freedom. Rhetoric is an easy path requiring smooth flowing conversations. I have yet to see rhetoric calm a hysterical child, embrace a mother in her tears, or extend a hand of hope to those desperate in the darkness.
Today's world seems to value rhetoric over substance. I sense the reason is the lack of substance demonstrated by those with experience that came before our time. There are those willing to make a difference. After Saul “he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master's name.” (Acts 9.28) Yet it was not just in time before ours, there are examples today.
I wonder how others would mark my life, especially when they look in the context of time. The good news is that today is a day in which I can take a positive step into a new future. I can embrace the Spirit, giving hope to those around me. I can experience God's compassion as I extend mercy to those desperate for its touch. I can do the stuff of life instead of just talking about it from a distance.
I realize that there are many things beyond our control. I will not determine the outcome of the upcoming election, yet I can embrace those with substance. I cannot determine how you respond to today's challenges, yet I can nurture your journey in ways that help. I cannot dictate anything, yet I can exercise freedom in love and truth.
Words matter. Words that are wrapped in action are powerful. The truth we hold without our hearts is told by the combination. In our choices, we create living substance.
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