500 Words and a Renewed Focus on Jesus

Photo By: Luigi Crespo (Creative Commons)How many times do we take on a challenge and see it through?

I mean really? For me, not often. Not often enough.

Today I reached the end of a 31 day writing challenge and honestly, thinking back to the first of January, I didn’t think I’d complete this one.

The challenge was to write at least 500 words a day for the month. Those were the rules. I didn’t have to write a book, blog post, poem, letter or anything that even made sense – I had several of those nights – the idea was just to get into the habit of writing.

I did it.

I have written a minimum of 500 words every day this year, 31 days straight and it showed me that when I focus on something I can make some pretty interesting things happen.

For 31 days, I have made time to sit down and write.  I have made putting words on paper a priority.

Which lead me to think about where my focus should really be and what does happen when my focus is where it is meant to be– on Jesus.

My focus has been elsewhere recently and my relationship with Jesus has suffered. The great thing about that relationship is that Jesus ALWAYS forgives me and is ready to pick up right where we left off.

Why is that, you might be asking? Well, that’s easy – because God is love.

Participating in this challenge reminded me that I have to be intentional about writing and nurturing my relationship with Jesus. Well, there is no way to nurture my writing than by doing it, ike say 500 words a day for 31 days and there is no better way to nurture my relationship with Jesus than be spending time in his for myself.

Want to know what the key word there is? It might surprise you, it’s “myself.

There is no one that can write for me and there is no one that can read the bible for me or pray for me. To get batter at anything I must – you must – be the one actually doing it.

All these thoughts reminded me of a challenge of my own that I issued last year – you can read the original here or here – and I am going to reissue it right now.

I challenge you to read the Gospel of John. That’s it, I want you to read, that’s all.

Photo By: Luigi Crespo (Creative Commons)

I believe that John’s gospel is the most complete example in scripture of Jesus’ love for humanity and I believe that if you read it you’ll come to the same conclusion.

As in the original challenge I ask that if you’re not a Christ follower that you read with an open mind. I want you to forget all the “Christians” you know, everything you’ve seen on TV about Christians. I want you to start reading as though none of the negative, nasty stuff you’ve ever heard had ever been said.

Keep in mind that Christ followers are not perfect. We do not have all the answers, most of us don’t even think we do – that’s just how we’re portrayed.

If you’re already a Christ follower I would ask that, as you read, you remember and look for the love that Christ so clearly displays.

So, I am trading one challenge for another – though I will continue to write in and through February, I will also be rereading John’s gospel and I invite you to join me. There are only 21 chapters in the book so you can read one chapter a day and be done before the end of the month – you decide.

I will post updates and some thoughts on John’s writing.

If you are joining me on this journey through John’s gospel leave me a comment and let me know.

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