“The anticipation will be just as rewarding as the experience. If it’s time that you will take away from family members, they will benefit too by seeing you renewed.”
A friend of mine who is battling leukemia just had a bone marrow transplant to receive stem cells from his brother. My friend’s wife wrote to everyone and said that this opportunity for renewing his healthy blood cells is like a second birth for him at age 56.
Indeed, after the penitential season of Lent and the darkness of Good Friday, the joy of Easter should be like another birthday for us too. Our lives should not be the same as they were on Ash Wednesday. New insights into old challenges and hope for hopeless situations should come easier as we embrace the redeemed living that Christ procured for us.
9 Ideas for Redeemed Living
Redeemed living is a counter-cultural experience, whereby we choose calm instead of panic and peace instead of anxiety. We place our trust in God rather than the world. While redeemed living will look slightly different for each person, here are some tips for knowing that you are on the right path:
- Your eyes, tone of voice, and the look on your face have a huge impact on other people, especially children. Kindness and smiles help God’s work more than harshness and frowns.
- Give yourself a little wilderness time each week. After his 40 days in the desert, Jesus continued to spend time alone with God, rising early to pray in deserted places despite the demands of his ministry.
- Read a devotion every day. It only takes 5-10 minutes, and it is a great reminder that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.
- Add a spirit walk or two to your week – a brisk walk where you think about God, breathe deeply, and connect with the natural world. The word “spirit” comes from the word for breath. Deep breathing and walking is great for your mental and physical health. Take the kids too!
- Read a book you love for at least 15 minutes a day just for the joy of it.
- Schedule something you love to do into your calendar in the next 30 days. The anticipation will be just as rewarding as the experience. If it’s time that you will take away from family members, they will benefit too by seeing you renewed.
- Tune out to television or radio programs that upset or frighten you, and tune into music that you love to hear.
- When worries or setbacks come, write them down and pray about them. Over time, look back to see how your prayers were answered in unforeseen ways.
- Practice forgiveness daily, in little and big ways. Don’t dwell on mistakes (yours or others’), but give them to God for guidance and redemption. God has a way of bringing good things from bad things.
Phyllis Strupp is the author of Church Publishing’s Faith and Nature curriculum and the author of “The Richest of Fare: Seeking Spiritual Security in the Sonoran Desert.”