Beauty. Freedom. Responsibility. Power. Leadership. Sacrifice. Destiny. Love.
For Christians (and churches) that don't follow a liturgical calendar, it's easy to lose track of the fact that Easter is just the beginning. Most of us probably enjoyed the long Easter weekend, had an extra-special Sunday meeting, took new family photos and then went back to work. That's certainly what I did, and I don't begrudge anyone who did the same... but the fact remains, Easter is just the beginning. On Resurrection Sunday, Jesus is only getting started. Some of the most remarkable displays of what God is like come to us after the resurrection. And the new race of humanity that Jesus ushered in is just getting started too.
The year is 1637. You are a priest, who has travelled to Japan to locate your former teacher. You travel from island to island, encouraging tiny groups of Christian believers, who are hiding for their lives. You are eventually captured by the Inquisitor, who tortures other believers in front of you in an attempt to make you renounce Christianity. Eventually the Inquisitor offers to end the torture if you will simply tread on an icon of Jesus.
Sometimes there's just nothing left in the tank. I'm not talking about chronic depression, just plain old, run-of-the-mill malaise. When there's too much housework to even know where to start. Or when you've been sick in bed for a week and somehow you're still tired but also bored. Here's my advice: If you do nothing, then the nothingness will certainly win. But if you can let go of the things that aren't important, and intentionally surrender to God all the things that are, then the day may not be lost. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me...
Each culture adopts values and principles considered desirable or necessary in their leaders. Personas and archetypes emerge that come to define certain roles and responsibilities. We end up being told that in order to do that we must be like this. But you don't have to be like that at all. You can be like you! If you've ever felt like you just didn't fit into the mould of the leaders around you, then this one is for you.