God’s Work in Progress

potter clay
Christians often refer to the season of Lent as a second chance at our New Year’s resolutions. Our broken January promises are renewed as we vow to give up unhealthy foods, to take on healthier habits, to change in some significant way. For the most part, I love this time of year because it ushers in a season of transformation and renewal, as we embrace growth and progress. But there are some “side effects” of this approach than can actually halt our progress in two significant ways if we’re not careful.

  1. A constant focus on all the many ways we need “fixing” can become a roadblock on our spiritual journey if we hold ourselves back from God because of this belief that we are not good enough.
  2. Our efforts to do it all ourselves as we choose and control our own path to change can get in the way of God’s plans for us.

On both January 1st and Ash Wednesday, I always used to say: “I’m a work in progress.   There’s a LOT of work I need to do.” Somewhere along they way I reframed this statement

I am God’s work in progress, and he is working in me. Continue reading

Why Do People Get Married?

Shall we Dance

Why do people choose to get married?

Years ago I attended a retreat program presented by Deacon Arthur Miller. There were about thirty people there and it was an inspiring night filled with wisdom, laughter, and the sharing of faith. At the end of the program, I introduced myself to Deacon Art just to say a quick thanks. About six months later, I had the opportunity to attend another one of his programs. As I entered the room, Deacon Art came over to me with a welcoming smile. “Hello, Sheri!” At my look of surprise, he said: “You didn’t think I remembered you, did you?” An immediate sense of pleasure and gladness washed over me. To be noticed like that…to be remembered by name and picked out of the crowd, for just that moment…it transformed the experience for me. I felt like my presence mattered to the group and the purpose of the day. (It wasn’t until much later that I realized I was wearing a nametag, so Deacon Art had a little help in remembering me that day!) But the point remains the same. It was the moment of being noticed that stayed with me.

It brings to mind a wonderful movie I saw years ago called Shall We Dance, staring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. The movie is about John and Beverly Clark, a couple who’ve been married for almost 20 years. They have a good life together, two children, and a loving marriage. But John is in a rut and he doesn’t know why or how to get out of it. Without giving too much of the plot away in case you decide to see it someday, there’s a scene halfway through the movie where Beverly Clark is asked a question. “Why do you think people get married?” Her response: Continue reading