One of my friends once said, "If we can only ride a bike, that's okay, it is better than walking. If we can only walk, it is better than sitting in a wheelchair, and when we have to sit in a wheelchair, we can still live and enjoy the day and blessings God has given. There is always a good thing in life to be grateful for." When I remembered all that my friend had said, that was true. Too many people today only focus on the things and feelings right in front of them. Lots of things in life can make us become discouraged, lose hope, and even give up. But if we want to open our eyes and search, we will certainly be able to find many things that we can still be grateful for in our daily lives.
My church had four services each Sunday. When I was going to church, I always chose the first service, which was held in the morning. The first service started at 7 a.m. My sister and I left home at 6 a.m. As we walked toward the church, we could feel the cool morning air, the beautiful singing of birds, and the warm sunshine. Even though I walk, I felt my journey was great. Besides being accompanied by my sister walking together so I did not feel alone, we could chat along the way. On the way I could look around as we passed many homes where some of the residents looked busy doing their activities in the morning. I also noticed some people selling food in front of their homes, some parents who carried their babies walking around enjoying the air and morning sunshine with a stroller, and some people who did morning exercises. Along the way we also passed the market where we saw people selling groceries. We arrived at the church at 6.30 a.m. We usually spent 30 minutes before the service began sitting quietly, praying, watching the Praise and Worship team preparing for their ministry, and listening to the gospel music before the service began.
Our life is like a journey. Everyone may have different routes. As we walk through the way of our lives, we may feel bored, or even feel the journey is too difficult, and we are alone through it. But regardless of the route of our life, or what we encounter along the way, one thing we know is we are never alone, there is God who is always with us to accompany us. In the way of life, we can pass many things, which will bring us joy or sorrow. Maybe we will meet some people or some things that make us happy, sad, disappointed, or even make us angry. The journey of life is our process of learning, there are many things we can learn in it. It is also an opportunity for us to love. As we pass through life, each situation is an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and be grateful. And the people we meet give us opportunities to love, forgive, and strengthen each other.
The United Methodist Church in Honduras uses El Aposento Elto, the Spanish language version of The Upper Room daily devotional to start new faith communities. They use "An Easy Plan to Use The Upper Room in Small Groups" found in the back of the magazine. As the groups grow, they build critical mass for new church starts.