"A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean." Mark 1:40-42
I walked into work this morning to be greeted by one of the parishioners who had come early to the church to attend Bible Study. We had a lovely chat and as he left, he asked if I might be interested in a part time position, a few hours a week, helping him and his wife run a bio-tech foundation. I sat down to my computer to see a few emails from friends with ideas on projects that I'm working on. As the morning continued, I had a great meeting with some people I work with through Christian Peacemaker Teams, a lovely lunch, and some visits with folks associated here with the church.
After yesterday's bit about not receiving the grant I was pretty upset and hurt about it all. I came home after work and after a lovely visit with a friend and crashed. I wasn't a happy camper and I went to bed early.
This morning though, was a new day. And as the man in the story from Mark above choose his new life as surely as Jesus choose it for him, I feel encouraged today by the emails, conversations and notes from friends.
When I was little, I was one of only a few kids in my First Day School class. Different people from the Meeting would take turns spending time with us on Sundays which was great; I got to meet a lot of the adults that way. I remember a story that one of them told me; a story about when he was asked by someone else if he was "Born Again." This man from my meeting had replied, "Surely! I'm Born Again every day."
I've carried that idea into my life as I have grown up. Some Quakers distinguish the theological terms as Justification and Sanctification. Justification is the initial choice to live faithfully, while Sanctification is the life of choices that brings you closer and closer to a life according to Jesus' teachings. I like to think that each day, when I wake up, I have a choice to live faithfully or not. If I choose yes, fantastic. If I choose no... God still loves me... but will come again and nudge me that way anyways.
Its nice to know that after a day of disappointment and frustration, the signs and blessings in my life are still around to encourage me to choose faithfulness. The sun might be behind the clouds some days, but it rises every morning. For that and more I am thankful.