I love this time of year, the moment after Christmas when things go back to normal. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas and all the hullabaloo that go with it are awesome, the food, the time with family, the extra time with my brothers and sisters at the church, the tree, the food, the lights, the food. All of it can be fun and good but it leaves me tired and ready to get back into routines.
Right after Christmas there is the satisfaction of a big cleanup, a house being set straight as the tree comes down and the stockings are rolled up for another year. Many people make resolutions at this time of year, which is really another form of house straightening. I don’t want to get into resolutions or how to keep them (you can find endless blog posts on that this time of year).
At this time of year, if you are like me, then you are commencing another rotation through the Bible. This isn’t a resolution for many of us it’s just “what we do.” If it’s a resolution for you then you should know that a romp through the Word of God requires perseverance, stubbornness, quiet, and a dogged pursuit of hearing God. It’s hard, but then again most life-giving things are.
At this time of year, in January, it’s not so hard. At this time of year it’s hopeful, I’m not yet behind schedule in my reading, the endless hours of darkness and the uninviting weather outdoors makes it easy to find the time; those aren’t the only reasons though, Genesis makes it easy too. I love these days when I bask in the glory of a God who lovingly speaks the world into being. When his glory is displayed through his wondrous promises, read it carefully and you will see that even in the curse there is promise for the snake’s head will be crushed! The stories of people like Noah and Abram bowing their heads and their wills to the will of God in faith and trust. It all makes it easy to get started.
As I enter this year I pray to be more like those who seeking God’s will, looking for ways to serve him, and receive the strength to follow his leading. As a minister I pray for the discernment to know what I need to do and what I need to leave undone, to know the words I need to say and the know the ones that need to go unsaid. As a father I pray to love my children better, as God would have me love them (purely, regardless of their actions and accomplishments or how much like me they happen to be), not just as people-in-waiting who I am teaching the keys to a successful life, but as people right now, who need love, kindness and joy. As a husband I pray for patience and strength and to know how to love my wife for the individual woman she is, I also pray for more time with her, though I know that is really up to me.
What roles are you focusing on this year in your life? What prayers are you saying these days? The thing about resolutions and life evaluations is that we cannot do them or keep them on our own; we need help, help in the discovering of them and help in the doing of them. As a church and as individuals we need the help of the Holy Spirit who sustains us. May the Spirit be with you in the year to come.