I love the idea of times and seasons in our lives. I want to know what God is doing in my life and how I can join him. I feel so much better about this than I used to feel. For me, New Years Resolutions were all about shame and white-knuckling. "I know what I should do and (scrunch up willpower).......(gasp) (pant) can't do it (shame)" and eeeew~ who'd wanna sign up that?
My mind got changed for the better when I read something by John Eldredge. I seem to recall it was in one of his newsletters. Anyway, I remember him talking about his group of friends and how one new year they wrote down something they really desired God would give them or do for them, in them, through them. Didn't have to be something "spiritual" (which is a whole nother article, cause I think it's all spiritual) but anyway it was something cool and compelling that really spoke from the heart for each person I remember it was fun nonreligious stuff like dancing, travel, stuff like that. Anyway, they folded up their pieces of paper and put them away and then revealed them at the end of the year and God has granted their desires or they had seen something right on the horizon where it was about to happen.
Here's my point. When it comes to turning over to a new season in my life, a new year, and I'm asking myself what to hope for, I wanna be driven by the deep desires of my heart, and I want to do it in the spirit of ask/seek/knock, revealing to God my honest desire and asking him to give/find/open the door. Of course there will be some corresponding action on my part. But I want my corresponding action to be like feel like a lover's scavenger hunt adventure not a desperate search for something that prolly doesn't exist.
Y'see, The Bible says if we take delight in the Lord he will give us the desires of our heart. There's so much in there. And like most things about God, it sounds too good to be true, so resist the urge to dismiss this idea as name-it-and-claim-it-ATM-Theology.
Have you ever taken delight in someone? Like a new baby or a new lover? Remember the adoration you gave to every detail of their body. "Look at her teeny little fingernails! Aren't they perfect!" "Breathe in the musky scent of you and feel how lovely it is to lay my cheek against your belly like a pillow". That's taking delight in. Just adoring every detail about them and celebrating each of their finer qualities by pouring out extravagant love on it. Have you ever done that with God? Have you ever just delighted in learning about his fine qualities and celebrating them by pouring out your extravagant love upon them? "Wow, God, the way I just happened to run into a developer with the coding language I need at a child's birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese, that is so awesome how you did that. Thank you. I love you." or "Wow, God that sunset was just exceptional. Attaboy! Well done!" or "You know God the way you go out of your way to forgive me when I screw up is just way cool and deeply appreciated". You know, stuff like that. So, if you cultivate a lifestyle of doing that, relating to God like that, then your desires will be good desires. You're not gonna be asking for help with a wicked revenge plan or some shit like that. (laughing)
Now. Here's the really cool part. God is generous. And he enjoys giving us the world. Like, he even gets pleasure from it. I know, pleasure and God seem at first glance to be incompatible, but they're not. Jesus said, "It's the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Let that one sink in and it may knock religion off it's high horse.
My friend Eleutheros is a really good husband. Seriously. The way he loves his Mrs. makes the world a better place. Delighted Husband and I were on our way to lunch with them and I complimented his wife (I'll call her Freebird) I complemented Freebird on this ring she was wearing. Not her wedding ring. A bonus ring. She smiled and her eyes sparkled and she said "Honey tell her the story of this ring." Oh my goodness, how their eyes were sparkling! He told us the story of going from place to place, leaving Freebird a little gift, and a clue to the next spot on the journey. Freebird ended up at a jewelry store with a little box given to her and directions to the place for dinner. Only God Almighty knows who derived more joy from this lovers scavenger hunt: Eleutheros or Freebird. God is like this.
So. When I look at the wide white expanse of naked calendar pages with nothing written on them, a whole year's worth, I realize I'm on a lovers scavenger hunt and God has hidden little gifts and treasures and clues for me along the way, and there is a theme and there is a bonus. And there will be directions for me to follow and corresponding actions I must take. But what a joy! Knowing that a lover has planted treats for me to discover and enjoy along the journey. (grin) Cool, huh?
So I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I do a Lover's Scavenger Hunt. I start a new one each year. And as I prepare my heart for the new year and take a gratitude inventory of the last year, I thumb through the desires in my heart for the first clues of the journey.
So, y'all wanna hear some of my first clues?
I want to take up figure skating again. After all these years, since I skated, I still see skating choreography in my head when I hear certain music. And I'm gonna skate again. I am so psyched about this! Now in order to do this, I'm gonna have to do athletic training and develop my strength and skill before I ever take to the ice. But isn't that fun!!! Not just 'ho hum working out because it's what I should do' but "whoo wee today let's work on strengthening my core to increase power and balance" Sound like fun don't it??? (grin)
Any of ya'll wanna share your clues? Your desires that are clues to what God wants to give you in 2009? I'd love to hear them.