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Renewing More Than License Plates

on . Posted in Perspective

freshstart290 I walk in the door and stare at what seems like hundreds of people either sitting slumped in folding chairs or standing in line waiting. I make my way through the crowd and pluck a number from the machine that stands defiantly in the middle of the lobby. I glance at the crumpled piece of paper in my hand that will decide my fate. I see the number 70 printed on the paper and compare it to the number 35 on the lighted board displaying the current number being served. It’s just another day at the Secretary of State’s office.

Every year I make my way down to the Secretary of State’s office for the annual renewal process of paying my taxes and claiming I own the vehicles I drive. It’s a tedious task that I don’t look forward to for the reasons above, but a necessity I can’t avoid.

There are all different kinds of renewal. A long, hot shower renews a person after working outside all day. A good eight hours of sleep provides enough renewal for someone to get through a day. Many people consider the first of January a great opportunity for renewal in their life.

For me, Easter is a time of renewal and fresh beginnings. It’s what I consider my new year, although no ball drops from the sky. During this season, I am reminded of what Jesus Christ did and continues to do for me. He gave me hope. He gave me life. Every day He gives me the chance to be a better person than I was the day before. I appreciate all different types of faith and people who believe differently than me, but it’s hard to argue with those kinds of results.

What I want to challenge people with today is don’t make a decision based solely on what I say. Meet Jesus for yourself. Not the people who say they follow Him but don’t represent Him well. Not the churches that have been built about Him, but you feel exploit Him. Pick up the Bible and read about Him in the words He spoke through His disciples. Because if you meet Jesus that way, I’m guessing you won’t have a problem with his teachings. His wisdom, through scriptures, can teach you how to love those who you don’t feel are worthy of it and help you renew a love that has been depleted.

And that happens in marriages and families. Spouses disagree with us. Children disappoint us. Parents frustrate us and siblings annoy us, but we have to find a way to renew our love for them, even when it’s challenging or we feel like that love has dissipated like an early morning fog. If we follow the example of Jesus, we will learn how to put others before ourselves and show grace and mercy to everyone, even those who don’t necessarily like us. When you can do that, you will experience a renewal of a more deep and lasting kind, not something that will only last until your next shower or nap.

The ability to maintain relationships within your family is not something you are born with, but a skill you learn over time. Jesus was a master at loving, accepting, and connecting with all kinds of people. Get to know Him this Easter and experience a more profound love in your life and a renewal that extends beyond license plates tabs.

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