Friday, January 8, 2016


I like counting change. I'm not sure why, but I like sorting loose coins, organizing them in stacks, and tallying the amount.

The new year always seems to bring about similar opportunities for calculating a different kind of change--sorting out what my focus could be for the year, organizing my thoughts about specific opportunities, and tallying up the potential result if I were to actually implement the changes.

Yet, while I find those exercises interesting, I resist them most of the time. I don't make resolutions or set goals. I've always been a realist, and dreaming seems scary. I've also learned that I respond better to change when I know God's orchestrating it, than when I work for it--kind of like Mary and Joseph had to do when God, not them, brought about change--MASSIVE CHANGE--in their lives. Talk about two people who had to adapt! Here's a short list:

+Mary gets life-altering news that she would be THE Virgin who would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah.

+Joseph hears a message from an angel when he is considering whether or not to believe Mary's story.

+They obey Caesar Augustus' decree to participate in the census, which means that Mary will not be surrounded by her mother or her auntie or her mother-in-law when the time comes for her to give birth.

+Joseph takes what the inn owner in Bethlehem has to offer him, even though it's very less than ideal.

+They receive visitors, both lowly shepherds with nothing to offer but an outrageous story about angels and wise men bearing gifts in acknowledgment that their son is a long-awaited king.

+They ponder Simeon's hard words about Jesus' future.

+They heed the angel's warning that they must flee to Egypt for an unknown length of time.

The common denominator in all these situations? God precipitated the changes. And Mary and Joseph got to choose: accept or resist.

Which will you choose as change presents itself this year?

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