It was probably 15 years ago when I bought cheap lanyards for our store team to wear. I wanted something to hold the keys to the dressing rooms as well as laminated cards with reminders of the current store promotions.
Several of them had the letters WWJD repeated in bright colors.
I had no idea what it meant.
After my team laughed at my continuous naiveté, I decided we would still use them. Heck, I was never very good at political correctness anyway.
Now, perhaps not as naïve as I used to be, but still full of hope for mankind, I understand that it is in fact the real question that we have to be asking if we want to change the natural course of human events.
It’s the only question that can change human nature.
What would Jesus do?
Not just the Sunday School answers, but what would He really do? What DID He ACTUALLY do?
There may be some out there who misinterpret my cries for kindness and tolerance as defeatism in giving in to all the evil out there that must be fought.
Not just fought, but won.
My concern, however, is that we are becoming so focused on winning the battle that we risk losing the war.
The war over our personal human nature.
And so, I offer my New Year’s prayer.
I pray for quiet reason to overcome the cacophonic terror and fury
I pray we stop taking things as personally offensive, but instead reach out and make things peacefully personal for others
I pray we can learn to defend without being defensive; that we recognize defensiveness comes when we substitute false bravado for confident humility
I pray for bitterness and anger to be replaced with understanding and compassion, for the ability to see the individual among all the masses
I pray we see how easy it is to be hateful of others when we ourselves don’t feel securely loved, and to gain the courage to love others anyway
I pray we understand that we become fearful when we don’t know who we truly are
I pray we comprehend how misinformation leads to feelings of powerlessness and anger, and how simple truth brings clarity of direction
I pray we take the time to accurately study situations out and become educated that we may be saved from our own ignorance, and to ask what comes next after the slogan or rant or bravado-filled promise – understanding true cause and effect
I pray we choose leaders that will strive to live their faith and seek God first, and then do their best to lead this country; I pray we will then trust them when they form bipartisan solutions including compromise
I pray we learn to be grateful for all we don’t have, and have our eyes opened to see just how much better things are than they might be
I pray we can more closely personally define what it means “to trust”; how learning to trust God helps us to trust good men and women
I guess it can all be boiled down to one concept:
I pray that we will be more alarmed about our spiritual death than our fear of physical death
One could ask if one person’s prayers can possibly make a difference.
Kind of like one against the universe.
I’ve heard people wonder if our prayers really change anything.
I answer with an emphatic YES.
They change us.
We need 2016 to become a year of universal-individual change.
Let’s start with a prayer.