• Michelle Burkhardt

Do Things that Matter

One of my favorite things about New Year’s Day (other than it follows Christmas) is how it is a time for new beginnings. A person can reflect on the past, evaluate mistakes made, and develop a plan for the future. As I write my first blog of 2019, I want to reiterate something Pastor Mike said a few weeks ago during the sermon. (Paraphrasing) When we look at death as not being the end, we can have courage to surrender and sacrifice for Christ now. Christ told his disciples if they were to follow Him, they were to deny themselves and take up their cross (Matthew 16:24). Thus, instead of making a typical New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, or be kinder; I have chosen to focus on doing more things that matter. Of course, doing things that matter for the kingdom of Christ often requires sacrifice.

For me, this sacrifice will take the form of facing a few fears as I travel to Honduras for Medical Missions trip in May. I am not afraid to travel; however, I have not ventured past Mexico without my husband. Without going into detail about my phobias, let’s just say this trip to Central America is positively outside of my comfort zone. Yet, I know this is God’s will for I have felt His nudging for some time. Moreover, I believe that doing something that matters is best done when I allow God to be my guide.

Without Him, I recognize that I would not have the ability, resources, or the courage to go and use the skills that He has given me. Even though I have the medical skill needed to participate, it is God who will use it to glorify His name. I see this trip in a similar way as I see my writing, which I love to do. To explain, it is God who gives me the ability to process my thoughts into a manner that makes sense for my readers. Before I continue, I first have a confession to make. I write better than I talk. Just hold a conversation with me sometime and you will see, or should I say, “Hear” this truth.

My mom (Mom’s always tell the truth) was the first person who made me aware of this fact. Many years ago, after sharing with her one of the first articles/stories that I wrote, she questioned, “You wrote this?” “Why, yes, I did!” I proudly exclaimed - waiting for a gushing compliment from her. Her response, “Wow, you write better than you talk”. Although it was not the exact type of praise that I expected, my mom was right. With the use of technology, I can use more creative words, have most of my mistakes autocorrected, and take the time to really ponder and even reword how I want to express myself. Unambiguously (just love the Thesaurus), when I am talking, my brain does not have a fast modem to access the words that I can partially see in recesses of my head. Never mind, trying to pronounce them or even spelling them correctly.

Like Moses, my weakness is made strong with God at the wheel. To illustrate, In Exodus, God told Moses he was to go to Egypt and speak to Pharaoh about releasing the Israelites. Moses felt insecure in his ability to communicate due to “his slow of speech and tongue” (4:10); yet, God told him that He would give him the words and teach him what to say (4:12). Plus, God even provided Moses an extra encouragement for He sent Aaron to accompany him (4:14).

Our God is good all the time and all the time our God is good! He will not ask us to do something without Him. Thankfully, He is with me when I write, and He will be with me when I travel to Honduras.