The beginning of a year is often a time of transitions. Some things end and other things begin, in small ways or big ways. We aren’t always in control over these transitions, but we can choose how we will act and respond. The story of Ruth in the Old Testament shows us how Ruth and her family followed God in their unexpected fresh starts. In this series we told the story of Ruth, picking up on ideas and things God teaches us to do when we are facing a fresh start.
Everything in Ruth’s life falls apart but she stays committed to Naomi. When life changes your plans, it’s important to find good people and stick with them. We often talk to young people about the quality of their friends, but the principle applies to people of any age.
Ruth goes to work in Boaz’ field. If you have a job, work hard in it. This can be hard when you feel like you aren’t in your ‘dream job.’ Even if you don’t have a job, you can find meaningful things to spend your time and energy on.
Ruth and Boaz start some ancient-style courting, but the highlight is Boaz’ generosity to Ruth. When you’re facing a fresh start it can be tempting to pull everything in close, but that isn’t usually what God wants you to do. Be kind and generous with what you have whenever you can.
Both Ruth and Boaz are honourable in the way they continue their relationship. In a fresh start situation, we can be tempted to compromise our integrity because we’re desperate, bitter or disillusioned. Integrity is about being whole and undivided in all of life.
The messiness behind Ruth’s fresh start actually goes back much further to a family scandal. In this final week of the series we talked about what God can do with the messes, mistakes and scandals of our past. We also connected this to Australia’s painful past.
This post was written by Geoff Snook.