Climate Changers

Climate change is a major topic in current culture. There is disagreement on whether or not this phenomenon is caused by human actions, however. You may believe mankind is destroying the planet, God controls the environment, or something in between. No matter where you are on this spectrum, I believe we can all be “climate changers” in the environments we inhabit every day.

I can think of many coworkers of mine over the years whose mere presence changed the atmosphere of the workplace—positively or negatively. Some of them would bring an energy that would brighten a room. Others would have the opposite effect. We all know people who make us cringe when they show up, because we know they will constantly complain or try to start an argument. I recall one coworker whose infectious laugh could be heard throughout the workspace. Her laugh would bring a smile to my face daily, even when she was too far away for me to know what she was laughing about.

Jesus told us to let our light shine in such a way that men would see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) In doing so, we act as thermostats and not thermometers. We should regulate the temperature in the environments we enter, rather than simply reflect or display the ambient temperature. We should be climate changers. We have the ability to warm up cold spaces and illuminate dark settings.

Do people hate to see us leave a place or are they happy to see us go? My goal is to leave a place better than I found it. Let our joy be contagious!

(Photo credits: Godisable Jacob and Engin Akyurt)

Continuing the Celebration (Joy For the New Year)

Happy New Year! We are well on our way into 2018. A new year often brings new beginnings and new opportunities. However, an opportunity is only as good as your ability to take advantage of it. Maybe 2017 was not a good year for you. You may have faced many difficulties and challenges. You said to yourself, “Things have got to get better this year.” Every year at this time you believe that this will be “your year”. You’ve been waiting a long time for dreams and promises to come to fruition. The reality is that sometimes it’s difficult to be optimistic while we wait. Circumstances have a way of affecting our joy. Maybe something has already occurred in the first few weeks of 2018 to sap you of the joy and enthusiasm you started out with on January 1.

I want to encourage you to continue the celebration you started several weeks ago. Remember the optimism and expectancy you had when the year first began. Make a choice to keep the party going despite whatever hardship you may be currently enduring. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control our responses to them. If we can step back for a moment and look beyond our circumstances to our loving heavenly Father, we can rest in the fact that He knows what is best for us.

If you ask, God will give you direction. I have to admit; sometimes the answer doesn’t make sense. It may seem like you’ve been given foolish instructions, but trust Him. Take a risk. Exercise faith. It is possible for your joy to be restored. You can have joy for the new year and beyond. You’ll soon have a reserve from which you can share joy with others. You will quickly discover that joy is contagious! Let’s keep the celebration going!