Generally, I don’t take to new things right away; I have to be coaxed into them.
This new year was no exception.
I began it quietly enough, with a Bible in the lamplight — fireworks crackling over the city outside my window. With silent regrets on my mind, there seemed little to anticipate. I hadn’t put my Best Friend first as loyally and fervently as He deserved in 2011. I know myself. How could I expect the new year to be anything more than more of the same?
Fear not…I will pour water on him that is thirsty
Come back… I have redeemed you!
C’mon. You and I can do this. Like we did last year, remember?
Once He shook off my amnesia, of course, there was plenty to remember: new-old lessons like tree rings, layering thicker and stronger in my life with every passing year.
Apply the power of thankfulness. It cuts through the fog of self-pity and entitlement that often surrounds temptation. It snatches me out of the swamps of a self-pitying life and sets me down, exclaiming, “My borders have fallen in such pleasant places!” It’s the antidote for jealousy, for fear of the future, for doubt. No wonder He says “in everything give thanks.” I think you could call it a universal remedy.
When in doubt, be a good steward. Left to myself, I’d fritter away countless opportunities just because of uncertainty in my life. But the guy who was entrusted with a talent in Jesus’ parable didn’t get off so easily. Don’t know when your master is returning? Invest. Don’t know where I’ll be living next month? Find this location’s opportunities and use them well this month. Not sure if this is the man I’m going to marry? Unselfishly invest in his well-being while I am part of his life. Not sure if I’ve found my life’s calling? Just enrich God’s kingdom however I can today.
Trust. Just do it. I can’t keep procrastinating on trust. If I can’t trust Jesus with this unwanted, anticlimactic, homely, nubbly, little faith-tester of a circumstance (whatever it happens to be today), I won’t be ready to trust Him tomorrow with something more grandiose. Either I trust Him, or I don’t. Right here is where the rubber meets the road. And what, exactly, is trust? Just slipping your hand in His, and walking up that road together. Because He has proved faithful in the small things I can see, I trust Him in the big things I can’t see.
Like last year at this time, I’m thinking about the simple word first.
Life is too short, and too full (of bad and even the wrong good things), not to put my Best Friend first.
So by His grace, I’ll…
Make the junk in my head wait (and wait) in line, while thanksgiving has first say.
Put investing in His kingdom first.
First (and last, and always), keep my hand in His.