by Lt.Colonel Renea Smith, Secretary for Personnel
When September rolls around, I usually feel like I’m getting a restart on my year. Maybe it’s the change of seasons, students returning to school or programs starting up again. Whatever it is I am filled with a desire to reevaluate my direction, consider my goals and refocus on the targets in front of me.
This year hasn’t been ordinary, and I expect this September won’t be either. We’ve dealt with some major issues, and it’s changed us; I pray for the better.
Hopefully, we have leaned more completely on God, spent more time meditating on His Word, considered the character of Christ and aligned our lives to Jesus, the chief cornerstone. I pray the catalysts of this year have caused us to assess our relationships with Christ and with each other. Are we following Christ’s example? Are we truly listening to each other, opening our minds and hearts to different thoughts and perspectives and committing to loving each other as Christ loves each of us?
Today, we stand at a significant crossroads, a place of natural readjustment. After many difficult months, we are on a path to recovery. Our next steps are important. The way we do business and relate to one another has changed. How do we, as an Army, change to meet that new reality? We don’t want to miss the opportunity God has given us.
So, what are we as Salvationists—followers of Christ—doing? Are we moving forward to engage the imperatives of our mission?
• How are we strengthening and developing the spiritual life of others?
• How are we capturing the hearts of the young, engaging their passion and unlocking their potential?
• How are we weaving ourselves into the fabric of our cities and responding to needs?
• How are we engaging our communities and serving people in love and humility?
• How are we recognizing and encouraging the unique calling to spiritual leadership?
In Isaiah 43:16a, 18-19 we read, “This is what the Lord says… ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
God has called The Salvation Army to attention. He is doing a new thing in and through us. Don’t miss it! Be attentive, watchful and obedient. We will need to leave the past behind; there is new territory ahead.
Don’t be afraid. Instead, be courageous! Take for yourself the words Joshua told Israel as they prepared to enter the promised land, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5, NIV)