Thursday, January 02, 2014

A Clean Slate

A New Year has begun, a new calendar is ready to be filled.  Fresh and new and full of promise.

But how is this different from one day to the next?  We've exchanged the 13 for a 14, but today is still Thursday, the day before Friday.  Good intentions in the form of "Resolutions" have just as much chance as any intention at the beginning of any week of the year to succeed or fail, according to the strength of my own discipline or the twists and turns of providential circumstance.

My laundry is still undone, the kitchen, cleaned last night, is mid-mess already, the grocery list grows as the refrigerator and pantry empty.

And yet, there is still the feeling that Now is The Time to make needed changes.  Now is The Time to begin anew, start over, learn something new, return to a forgotten habit, pledge to Do Better.  Read through the Bible in a year, memorize more Scripture, establish and stick with a budget, start a new fitness routine, eat healthier!  How about spend more time with real people and less time online?  Hand-written correspondence (or phone calls) rather than email?  More time in books and less time in front of the television?  More time in prayer and less time in complaining?  More blog and less Facebook, (this is for me)?

More time spent intentionally with my family, more service to others, the list goes on...

There are so very many GOOD things to put on the To Do list and so many habitual, natural, and easy things on the Not To Do list.  I'm exhausted already with the thought of all the possible and needed changes!

So I will drop the lists and turn to Scripture, to see not what I am to do, but what has been done for me and is still being done in me by the working of the Holy Spirit, through Christ, according to the will of my Father.  Paul's prayer for his friends in Colossae shall be my own prayer for myself and those I love:

"...we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of (God's) will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."  (Colossians 1:9-14)

Wisdom and understanding, a worthy walk, strength, endurance and patience with joy, gratitude for deliverance and redemption.  Won't this lay a foundation in Christ for all of the good which is ordained for us this year and grace to endure the failings and mistakes which are also, to keep us humble, ordained?

Happy New Year, and grace and peace to you, in Christ Jesus our Lord!

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