The place is empty now; everyone has gone home. Furniture has been put back in place, trash emptied, supplies placed where they belong, floors cleaned up, lights turned off, and doors are shut.
It’s almost like nothing (special) happened here, as if what just happened has left no trace.
“Leave no trace” is a great set of outdoor ethics but what about when it comes to our hearts?
Some things are meant to leave an imprint. Even more, some things should leave you completely different from when you arrived.
My prayer as each summer at camp progresses, at each event that passes, during each moment of ministry is that faith impacted, relationships deepened, grace experienced… that lives would be changed.
That is what the love of God does in our lives… it changes us. James 1:22-25 admonishes us that to encounter the Word of God should be life altering, we’d be foolish to remain the same and blessed to change as a result. The beauty is that John 1 tells us that the Word became flesh and as such our encounter with the Word of God isn’t only a mental exercise of understanding scripture but a personal experience of the mercy, grace and love of God through Christ Jesus.
It changes us, leaves a trace, makes a mark, alters us at our core.
As it should.
It would be sad if we walked away unchanged.
But we do that, all too often.
Don’t put your heart, mind and soul back as it was before as if it was a room that was meant to look like nothing ever happened. Let the moments of encounter with God change you. Resist the temptation to fall back into old habits, fight to allow God to continue to transform the way you think, pursue the depths of which God is at work within you… allow Him to leave a trace on your life.
More than that… in view of encountering the beauty of His mercy, the freedom of His grace and the extent of His love.. CHOOSE this:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I’m praying for the (more than a) trace that God has for your life.