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  • Writer's pictureTodd Render

don't dread this anniversary

photo by Sharon McCutcheon on unsplash

Last Friday, Lori reminded me we were celebrating an anniversary. “Really, what’s that?” It was our 1-year anniversary of retirement (from my other job, that is). It’s also the end of our 3rd year here leading the church.

Those 3-year anniversaries used to make me nervous. Listen to Jesus’ parable, and see what I mean:

  • “Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' " 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'" Luke 13:6-9 NIV

We’ve grown to know and love people here. We've taken trips together, married some couples, dedicated babies, baptized new believers, registered new members, but also buried family. The time is full and rich, and we’ve seen fruit. I’m a little less worried. But still...

God is good, and God is moving. Are we staying close by Him? When people look at us, do they see Him and sense Him? Are we following what He is doing, neither rushing ahead out of our own imagination nor falling back either out of fear or comfort or complacency?

The God Who is Life and Love is making and will make all things new. My friend, Bob, used to remind us all the time: living things grow. Are we growing?


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