I just erased our Happy Blue School whiteboard. Written in red erasable ink, eight sentences documented just a fraction of the events that led to the Aztec Empire’s tragic end. Jake and Caleb are learning about this historical demise as part of a vocabulary lesson with Wordly Wise (we love this vocab curriculum by the way!)
I am not planning to say much more about the Aztecs, but I couldn’t help but reflect upon the fact that something so huge and so devastating from centuries past (at least from the Aztecs’ point of view), could be erased in seconds on our little whiteboard – because the whiteboard has other uses ahead of it today. Our Happy Blue School day is going to be filled with lessons on the bible, self-regulation, reading, language arts, spelling, science, writing, math, history, vocabulary work and more. Our little whiteboard gets a real workout some days.
Yet, just because these sentences were removed from our whiteboard, this action does not negate where, what, how, and when these events occurred. Nor does a sweep of an eraser ignore who was involved on both sides of the conflict or why.
Fast forward to the present time, here in my adopted South Africa, the country’s capital has been ignited by fiery, violent protests against government action. Protests are rising up in various townships around the capital in response to the government’s appointment of a mayoral candidate for the municipality’s August 3 election. It is feared that pre-election violence will escalate throughout the country in days ahead. Sadly, three people have been killed and dozens have been injured this week.
Across the ocean, in my homeland, factions continue to argue back and forth about guns, terrorism, gender issues, religion, insurance reform, and more during its own election year. And, yes, too many people have died and been injured as well.
I can’t help but think, in time, these events will be cast in history – just like the demise of the Aztec Empire – some instructor in the future will be teaching about it all and then erasing sentences and concepts from either a white board like mine or from some other high-tech board of the future. What will be remembered and recorded about this present time?
As our family prayed this morning about the protest actions in Tshwane/Pretoria, Jake prayed these words:
“Heavenly Father, I don’t want people to be mad at each other. I don’t want them to hurt each other. Please help all of them take deep breaths and calm down and be nice.”
Then Caleb prayed, “Dear Jesus, please help the people listen to each other and stop the burning.”
And finally, Micah, “Dear Jesus, protect this nation. Please stop the people from descending into anarchy and choosing violence to express their anger.”
Honestly, I could echo every word of my sons’ prayers to those in both nations that I love who stand on opposing ground for a myriad of reasons.
Please stop being so mad.
Please stop hurting one another – whether by word or by action.
Please take some long deep breaths.
Please listen to one another.
And please guide us, Lord.
Help us overcome the evil in this world, with good.
Please protect one and all.
As some of you know, I am reading and praying through Romans 12 daily this year. As I read and pray through these words, I believe that if everyone, no matter walk of life, place of power, economic position, gender, race, or even belief system took to heart these words and lived them out – our lives and our world would be the better for it:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. New International Version, Romans 12: 14-21
I am praying these specific words over both my adopted nation and my home nation. Will you join me?
I am going to ask again – like I did at the start of 2016 – would you join me in praying through the entire chapter of Romans 12 once a day either for 30 days or for the remainder of this year?
I believe these words, penned over two thousand years ago, have the potential to impact not only your life as you pray through them, but also the power to impact the nations for the good of us all!!!
Reading and digesting these words for an extended period of time has the potential to help us truly live them!!!
This world needs to see Believers trusting in and living out the Word of God – not just talking – but living, breathing, walking and acting upon God’s Word – like we believe it!!!
If we don’t, our thoughts, ideas, and even our written word will be ignored and ultimately erased because we have no conviction. No grace. No love. No joy. No one will believe us.
Will our faith life be known for its confidence, assurance, joy and love because of the amazing power and grace of Jesus Christ at work in our lives?
Or will our faith life be known for its tepid, listless trust in Christ?
For me, I choose to rely on the grace, strength and love of Christ to show me the way – and I start with His Word.
So I humbly ask again: especially if you call yourself a Christ follower – will you join me and read Romans 12 today, the next day, and then the next day, and then….?
I promise you this – this one act alone of reading and praying through Romans 12, each and every day for at least 30 days – will change you!
I am asking you once more.
Image retrieved from pinterest