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Saturday, December 12

Today’s Readings: Amos 9:8-15; Luke 1:57-66; Isaiah 12:2-6

I learned an important lesson about control in one of my first leadership positions several years ago. The non-profit organization for which I was working decided to create small social groups to help individuals within the community connect with one another. One of my co-workers was designated to put the small groups together.

The individual who was assigned the task did not like children. So as he assembled the small groups, he decided to put all the members of the community with small children into the same group. The move was intended to punish the parents of the small children for insisting on bringing the children along. When I first heard of his plans, I thought it was awfully selfish for this individual to inflict his dislike of children onto the people of the community. I wasn’t sure how to confront him about this, however.

While I was mulling over the situation, the first small group (the one that consisted of the parents with small children) met. The next day I heard back from several individuals within the small group. “I don’t know who organized the small groups,” one of the parents said, “but I want to thank whoever it was. It was so thoughtful for them to put all the families with small children together so we could build a sense of community!”

I had spent so many hours worry about how I was going to “fix” the situation. I never once considered letting go of my control issues and trusting that things could work out.

In today’s reading from Amos, we hear words intended to remind the Israelites that they weren’t in control of the process of fixing things: someone else was. “In that day,” the prophet pointed out, “[God] will restore David’s fallen tent. [God] will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be…” (Amos 9:11 from The New International Version).

I wonder if there might be at least one area of your life that seems to be completely out of control: an area that you’ve long been wondering how you are going to make everything all right. If so, I would encourage you to entertain the humbling notion that perhaps you might not be able to fix everything yourself. Once you do that, you’ll create room for God to help repair those broken places, restore your ruins, and re-build things as they used to be. Til next time…

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