Psalms 98; 146; Genesis 17:1-12a, 15-16; Colossians 2:6-12; John 16:23b-30
Birthdays. Anniversaries. New Years.
Certain annual events just seem to invite us to simultaneously reflect on the past and dream about the future. Other unexpected, less celebratory events such as the death of a parent or the loss of a job, may trigger similar feelings for us. Anticipated or not, these times leave us in a sort of “in-between” state when we are not necessarily in motion but contemplating where have been and where we are going. They can be fertile times for resolutions, plans and convictions – some which will stick, and some which won’t.
While periods of planning and intention often serve a purpose, sometimes we settle for intentions rather than actual change. If we are really going to grow as people, eventually we need to stop planning … and start changing.
Other than the TV show, what do you think of when you hear the phrase “quantum leap?” Many people think it means a large change, but it’s actually a term from physics that means an immediate change from one state to another with no intermediate phases – no “in-between” time. The phrase also describes a phenomenon in thought where we jump from Point A (perhaps a problem we are trying to solve) to Point B (its solution) without discernible steps and connections.
Spiritual growth can occur like a quantum leap. When Abram accepts God’s promise to become the father of the future nation of Israel, he is immediately transformed into Abraham. Paul tells the Colossians that when they were baptised they were raised from death along with Christ – a change in state if there ever was one. The psalmist tells us “The Lord sets the prisoners free” and “opens the eyes of the blind.”
Abram to Abraham. Dead to living. Imprisoned to free. Quantum leaps.
There’s nothing wrong with making plans, but often when we are called to act in faith, plans mean very little. Abraham’s wife (who leapt from Sarai to Sarah) planned to grow old and die childless, and laughed when God told her otherwise. We all should be careful not to let our plans become impediments to our faith.
The psalmist warns us not to place our trust in mortal plans that perish but in God alone. It may be wise to look before leaping, but if we can’t … maybe God is calling us to make a quantum leap of faith from blindness to sight.
Comfort: With God’s strength, you can keep moving forward in ways that may surprise you.
Challenge: Pick something you’ve been planning to change, and actually do it.
Prayer: Wise and Loving God, I will trust in your ways.
Discussion: Can you remember any times you had an unexpected shift in attitude, belief, or habits?
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