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Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Saturday, September 19

Today’s Readings: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18; Matthew 23:29-39; Psalm 1

When I did my student teaching twenty years ago, I had a wise teacher who served as my mentor and site supervisor. His name was Tom Davidson. Tom had already taught for nearly thirty years by the time I came along. Tom did something with me I’ll never forget: he made time at the end of each day I taught to help me process my experience. One day I had a little run in with one of the teachers who taught next door so I made a special point of processing the encounter with Tom. “Don’t worry too much about Mr. So-and-So,” Tom said. “He’s burned out.” I asked Tom how long he had been teaching, and Tom made an interesting remark. “He’s taught the same year for 35 years now.” That wasn’t the answer I expected so I tried to correct Tom by saying, “Don’t you mean he’s taught for 35 years?” “No,” Tom said. “There’s a big difference. You see someone who has taught for 35 years has invested time and energy in each and every year he or she has spent in the classroom. Mr. So-and-So hasn’t done that. Instead, he developed his curriculum during his first year of teaching and then used that same material year, after year, after year. That’s why I said he’s taught the same year for 35 years now.” I was reminded of that conversation as I read today’s passage from Ecclesiastes – for in that passage the author sounds as if he’s taken an approach to life much like the approach Mr. So-and-So took towards teaching. The author simply went through the motions day, after day, after day. “The sun goes up, and the sun goes down,” the author noted, “then does it again, and again – the same old round.” The author then culminated his musing with the following observation: “There’s nothing new on this earth. Year after year it’s the same old thing” (Ecclesiastes 1:5,9 from The Message). There are certainly a lot of people who take that approach toward life. Instead of living each and every year as if they were a wonderfully new gift, they simply repeat the patterns of the previous year. Over… and over… and over. Sadly, many of our local churches make the same mistake. My question for you today to consider is this: as you look over the course of your lifetime, have you made a habit of living each year – or do you simply repeat the patterns of previous years? If you’ve fallen into the pattern of repeating previous years, use today as a great opportunity to break out of that rut and start living! Til next time…

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