I’m generally not one for new years resolutions. If, however, any of my evangelical friends were to ask what I’d recommend, I’d suggest three. 1) Recognize an important milestone likely to happen in 2019. 2) Recognize what this milestone means. 3) Recognize that doing more of what we’re already doing is not a solution.
At the beginning of this week we, as a nation, celebrated MLK Day. While not everyone received a day off, it would be hard to miss that much of our country was moving to a different rhythm this past Monday. It is curious to me how a variation, even a seemingly insignificant one (like a day off), can prove to be a positive disruptor. These positive disruptors can manifest themselves in a myriad of ways, something out of the ordinary.
We should ask ourselves several questions and among them should be: 1) Does my company/department/policies/work habits promote the well-being of the family? And 2) Does my management style devalue humans or bolster one’s worth? There are other questions that could surface, but these are places to start.
As we re-emerge from the Christmas haze, it is a good time to remember the point of Christ’s birth. He came so that we might be redeemed, and as a redeemed people we are called to live in a manner that strives to recover that which has been lost through the Fall. Asking ourselves how our jobs, families, friendships, etc. can be redeemed helps to shape our goals for 2019. Understanding what the idols in our lives are can also shape our resolutions. So much of what needs to be redeemed is tied to our destructive idols. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Atheism was not introduced in the garden, but idolatry was.” So, these two questions about redemption and idolatry serve to minimize how distracted we are by our feelings, our personal definitions of truth, and our own sins—filters that keep us focused on those things that are truly significant.
Recently, someone told me they had never heard of Sinclair Ferguson. My internal response was a groan, not in judgement, but rather out of sadness for what this person has been missing. Sinclair is a spiritual living giant that I would commend to you. He is a prolific writer and his speaking and preaching is not far behind. The article below is just a taste of Dr. Ferguson as well as an article that is on point as we think about what we are doing this December.
Culturally, there is nothing virtuous about waiting, and yet throughout Scripture we are called to wait on the Lord and to be still and know that I am Lord. There is the fundamental assumption (particularly in the marketplace) that no good can come from waiting—it is not progress, it is not advancing the cause, it is not success. The questions then become how do I grow my appreciation for this Biblical mandate, what does that look like, how do I more fully cultivate it in my own soul.
For me, Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, the totality of the Gospel, joy, fun, and moments of reflection. This message does not change year to year, but how these ideas get communicated does. The most important concept for me always is the idea that while Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, its significance lies in the life of Christ, His death on the cross, and the atonement made for my sins through His resurrection.
Many families are experiencing a lot of stress regarding their ability to care for family members, especially after the birth of a child or older family members who need a lot of medical care and attention. Our research is not directed at mothers in particular, but we do show how women experience the stresses between work and family.