WELCOME! Please be sure to…


“Welcome to the Sacramento airport, please do not leave any of your luggage unattended…”  I hear this every time I fly and almost every time I hear it I think “What if everywhere we went there was a welcome message and a set of basic instructions?”

Welcome to the bathroom; please be sure to wash your hands when leaving…  (too many people need this)

Welcome to the grocery store; please be sure to not eat grapes and other things you did not pay for.

Welcome to adulthood; please be sure to take responsibility for yourself since your mom is not here today.

Welcome to marriage; you have one mouth and two ears so use them accordingly.

Welcome to parenting; remember all your words are being recorded in their little minds, please be sure to shut up but don’t say shut up.

You get the idea, but how much more simple would life be with a daily reminder to adjust, remember, fix, grow, love, forgive, serve, share, care, forget, change, act, stop, mature, have fun, laugh, engage…

Every day I get a welcome message from God.  Welcome to today, please be sure to spend time with Me before entering.  This invitation comes from a God who loves me and wants to transform my entire life.  He knows that my life needs a moment by moment “welcome to, please remember…” set of instructions.  He knows that without these moment by moment instructions I will enter situations all day long and say the wrong thing, be ill prepared for the right thing and end up doing my own thing.  Welcome Leonard; please be sure to… (Want to know a secret, you get one too.)

Welcome to today, please remember to invest time in your faith and friendship with Christ today.  As I do, I begin to hear these instructions… Welcome to your marriage; please be sure you pray for you wife today.  Welcome to your kids lives; please be sure to encourage them today.  Welcome to a strangers life; please be sure to point toward Jesus today.  Welcome to the church; please be sure to use your gift today.  Welcome to your prayer life; please be sure to listen today.  Welcome to your parents lives; please be sure to honor them today.  Welcome to your friends lives; please be sure to care today.  Welcome to trials; please be sure to give thanks today.  Welcome to conflict; please be sure to use both grace and truth today.  Welcome to a broken heart today; please be sure to let God heal it.

I need this daily reframing of my life.  My welcome message from God and a set of daily instructions helps me live with the confidence that God is the giver of life and I am the steward of the life He gives.  But more than just giving me life, He gifts this life with opportunity to know Him, be loved by Him and love Him in return.  What an amazing gift, and this amazing gift is often wrapped in my pain, past, frustration, fear…  joy, hope, love, friendship… uncertainty, loneliness, failure and rejection… peace, abundance, success and community.  All of these are tools in the hands of God, who gifted me with the opportunity to know Him, be loved by Him and to love Him in return.

So try this, take a few minutes and hear this from God.  Welcome to today; please be sure to spend time with me before entering.  Off… we go now.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.   Psalm 118:24

~ by OFF we go now on February 1, 2011.

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