Guide for "Life Season"
January 1 - March 1, 2022
It's great to celebrate a New Year, and what better way to celebrate it than to start it out in SYNC with the intentions that the Creator had for the world when he started it all? It is a fantastic planet in a fantastic universe.
During Life Season, which climaxes in Carnaval/Mardi Gras on March 1st, we remember how good the world was in the beginning, how it went wrong, and how God is on a campaign to restore it.
The SYNC icon for Life Season is blue and green to remind us of the water and the plants that sustain life.
The "5G Quick Overview" below will establish your high-speed connection to Life Season. Once you have that, go on with your preferred methods from these lists:
One story in the Bible that sets the Life Rhythm
As you catch onto the Life Rhythm and move with it, you will discover who you are, and you will like what you are becoming under the influence of Jesus--a fountain of the water of life (or a spring, a bucket, a pipe, a water boy, an oasis, etc.--whatever works for you, but not a water balloon, a squirt gun, or a water cannon!) You will "See Yourself iN Christ," and people will become more alive just by being around you. They get blessed by the overflow of the life that the Creator keeps pumping into you.
The "5G" flow during Life Season
1G - Game-changer. There was nothing. Then there was something. The game changed.
Each SYNC season starts with a claim that God did some specific thing that changed the story of the world, affecting everything right down to today. The game-changer for Life Season is the creation of the universe. In fact, there was no "game" before this game-changer. Then God pronounced the universe into being, just like a minister pronounces two people to be married. This is the origin of all life. MORE
2G - Gift. All life and all of the physical universe is a gift from God.
An engagement ring has a much greater meaning to a woman than a ring she finds on the street. If the world is a gift to humanity, we should appreciatively find the meaning that the Giver put into it. If the world just happened, there is no Giver to thank for it, and it has no built-in meaning. MORE
3G - Get it. We recognize the built-in meaning of life.
As the whole planet is a gift, so our individual lives are each a gift. We didn't create ourselves. We didn't earn the right to be born. Life was given to us, and if we get that, we should appreciatively find the meaning that the Giver put into it. MORE
4G - Go with it. Once we "get it" that our life is a gift, we embrace life and share it.
Once we see the big picture that the world is a gift and we see the close-up picture that our own life is a gift, we pay attention to the Giver's intentions for the gift. We live gratefully and joyfully. We know who we are and why we are here, and that feels great! MORE
5G - Genuineness. As we "go with it," we become a fountain of life for those around us.
We get generous. We realize we are connected to an infinite Source of life, so we have plenty to share. We don't have to grab for as much life as we can get or work so hard to defend what life we have. We can afford to help others. MORE
Game-changer. There was nothing. Then there was something. The game changed.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1.1). If this game-changer, this first verse of the Bible, is fake news, then we are all on our own to make a better world, however we define "better." You can bet we will fight over our definitions.
But if the game-changer happened as the Bible sketches it for us, if the God of the Bible created a good world and a good human race, we can all agree that "better" would mean "better aligned with what the world was like when God created it." The better world would also be freer of all the evil that came about later on as people turned their backs on God (Genesis 3-11).
Humans turned God's good world into the not-so-good world we see today. Humans disconnected from him, inflicted all kinds of wounds, and filled the world with curses. That's why God launched his campaign to connect, heal, and bless the world. It was his strategy to undo the damage humans did to his good creation. The other six SYNC seasons will describe that strategy one step at a time. But for now, we go back to the beginning.
Gift. All life and all of the physical universe is a gift from God.
Each of God's game-changers brings us a new gift. The gift we get from the first game-changer is our bodies, our planet, our universe. The earth and sky were not there until he said so, and then they were. (List of all seven game-changers and how they change the game)
As humans we can imagine many things, and with a few lines of code (our creative "words") we can create them from nothing in a virtual world, but that doesn't work for us in the real world. We even have a hard time defining "life" in the real world, much less creating it. We stand in awe of a God who has that power.
As gifts, our lives and our universe have meaning. They are not just atoms and accidents. Someone deliberately put them there, made them beautiful, and did it from a good motive and for a good reason.
Get it. We recognize the built-in meaning of life.
If we "get it," we realize how amazing of a gift this game-changer was and is. Nobody asked God to create the world. We didn't ask him to be born, and we didn't do anything to deserve it. God just gave life to us out of his own goodness. When that hits us, it is the "ah-hah moment" when something inside us changes. The world we live in will never look the same to us again.
If we don't "get it," we assume either that the world just happened or that the "god" who made it is more like a businessman than a giver. If God treats the world as a business he owns, we have to do transactions with him. We make up different religions, trying to guess which transactions to make and what is the right way to make them.
But the world is more like a garden God landscaped or a work of art he produced than it is like a business he runs for profit. He made the world to be enjoyed. Entry is free, but permission to stay is not guaranteed to people who trample the garden or put graffiti on the work of art. Those people don't get it. They insult the Owner by acting like they can treat the gift any way they want. They wear out their welcome.
Go with it. Once we "get it" that our life is a gift, we embrace life and share it.
Once we get it that God's gift of life has a built-in meaning like an engagement ring, we "go with it." We respect the Giver's wishes and intentions. That's the honorable thing to do.
A bride-to-be would not wear her engagement ring on any finger she chooses nor would she wear it only on some days. She would do what her fiancee had in mind--wear it proudly every day on her ring finger. She might even find hold her hand up in ways that would get more people to notice it.
How do we actually "go with" the gift of life? We pay attention to the Creator's campaign to restore life on earth to its original glory and joy. We get familiar with the Bible, which sets the rhythm for the whole campaign. We also listen constantly for updates to our personal assignments in the campaign. The Spirit of Jesus lets us know what they are. We "go with" what we hear from the Bible and the Spirit.
Genuineness. As we "go with it," we become a fountain of life for those around us.
If we are guests in the world and we act like guests, everything is as it should be. We are authentic human beings, grateful to the good God for his open-door policy, and not wanting to dishonor our gracious Host. We are fully alive, in SYNC with God's magnificent intentions when he spoke that first creative word.
This means we are good for everybody. Life overflows from us or even gushes out, blessing those around us. When we see our effect on them, we are as happy as we can be because we have the privilege of contirbuing to a better world. We don't have the burden of trying to force anything on anyone. We just share life so their lives can be better.
We don't get arrogant about it though. What makes us genuinely happy is that good things happened for other people not that we will get any praise for doing them. We realize that we didn't really "do" them. Our motivation and our strength or skill all came from God, so he gets all the credit for whatever he did through us.