On the corner of Riverside and 71st St in Tulsa, Oklahoma stands a building that has undergone a massive change. This monument to a renovation goes unnoticed by many . . . but not by my family. Last Tuesday night, as we drove by this location, my Father-in-Law made sure we gave a shout out to a historic site. You see, on this spot, stood the last Furr’s Cafeteria in the greater Tulsa area.
Now, the removal of a Furr’s is not always a picture of progress (regardless of what you may be thinking). What struck me was what now stood on the site of this once proud all you can eat buffet. That’s right, in its spot now stands a “Planet Fitness.” Friends that is a total 180. From chicken fried steak and chocolate cream pies to bar bells and treadmills. This single location has undergone a full blown revolution!
I was thinking about change today as I prepare for Sunday’s message at Wildwood Community Church. Like many of you, I head into 2017 with a few areas where I want to see personal change in the new year. I want to get in better physical shape. I want to stop checking my cell phone so often. I want to grow more in my prayer life, and read more of God’s Word. I want to share my faith more with those around me. Does any of this ring a bell?
However, as I approach a brand new year (with all of its possibilities) I cannot help but be skeptical of my ability to do the things I want to do in the new year. After all, it is a new year, but I enter the new year as the same me. How can I hope to see any real change this year?
Some of the changes we seek are merely “cosmetic” in nature, and fairly easy for us to manage. But I also believe that each of us have areas where we long to see change that is much larger in scope and deeper ingrained into our patterns. In other words, spiritually speaking, there are a few “corners” of our lives where we want to put a Planet Fitness where a Furr’s used to be. We want to see victory over the struggle we have with pornography. We want to see contentment where we have had jealousy or restlessness. We want to see healing where we have felt brokenness. How can we see a revolution in our souls this year?
On Sunday, January 1, we will ring in the New Year together as a church in one morning worship service (at 11 AM). We will have no Adult Sunday School, Children’s ministry, Student Ministry, or College activities this day. Instead, we will be “All In” the worship service together . . . and as we gather, we will be talking about life change in the new year – how can we trust God for big things in 2017. Hope you will make plans to join us!