It’s already the end of week two of January 2017 and usually about the time New Year’s resolutions begin falling to the wayside.
Instead of a New Year’s resolution though…I like to use a “word” for the year, and this year the winner is…“This.”
You may have expected a word like “peace”, “gratitude” or “perseverance.” I am a stubborn learner though, so God gave me the word “this” – “this day”, “this project”, “this time”, “this child”, “this person”, “this ________”… whatever fits in the blank.
He is continually teaching me that even though I may like to make plans and think that I am in control…I am NOT! And although I find my brain spinning with all sorts of plans, projects, and possibilities, I can really only manage one thing at a time. When I choose not to heed this wisdom, I am missing out on the “this” right in front of me.
How many times have I been in a conversation with someone and caught myself glancing past them and thinking of other things rather than what they are saying? How embarrassing and shameful! I cheat myself and them of a moment shared together connecting. How many moments do we miss tuning in to those around us – our spouse, our kids, our coworkers, our friends, or the stranger on the street because we are too busy or just preoccupied with something else? How many surprises of grace straight from the Almighty’s hand do we overlook due to worries and our own agendas?
“This” calls for being flexible, it calls for an awareness of the present & His presence, and it calls for open hands that allow for God’s surprises. “This” calls for being willing to change at a moments notice. Change is never really easy; I tend to like things to stay the same. One favorite motto of mine is – “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!” But “this” calls me to be willing to step out of my planned schedule, my lists and my calendar. It calls me to live in a new awareness of the moment…”this” moment.
No, I still love to plan and be prepared. I enjoy looking back and looking forward; there is a time and place for both. I also believe if you don’t aim for something, you never hit the target because you don’t have one. But I also understand that my pride and my selfishness can cause me to lose sight of the “gift” of the “present”. I am slowly learning to be aware of the “this” in life. No matter how small or how brief, “this” matters. I don’t want to be so wrapped up in “that” or “those” that I miss – “THIS” that God has put right before me “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:4)
James 4:13-14 – “ Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (NLT)