Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that we are now in the year 2013. Doomsday predictors throughout the ages have missed the mark and here we are. For some reason, this year seems weirder than any other to me. Don’t get me wrong, I tend to go into every new year going “wow, I can’t believe we’re actually living in the year (fill in the blank).” But, 2013 seems even more bizarre to say. At any rate, here we are and I hope we all make the best of it. They (whoever “they” is) say that you will spend your year doing what you did on the first day….or bringing in the new year….I’m not sure which. Either way, it appears my year will be filled with family, friends and food. Sounds good to me!
Last night, our celebration started off at our pastor’s house. He and his wife had a New Years Eve party. There weren’t too many folks there…in fact, the crowd was small enough that we were able to play Catch Phrase. If you’ve never played, lemme tell you what it is. Two teams are competing against each other to guess the word their team member is describing. You can’t spell, “sound like,” or say any part of the word. And you have to do it while the timer is ticking. Whichever team has the word-thingie when the buzzer goes off loses a point to the other team. Great fun! It turned out that the best friend and I were on the same team. She looked at me and mentioned that having us on the same team wouldn’t be fair – we know too easily what the other is thinking. But, good news! Our dear daughters – who are also best friends – were on the other team. And their connection is equally as strong. There were a couple of times that one of us would look directly at our friend and describe the word and she would guess it immediately…while the rest of the team members were going “Huh?”. It made for some good laughs….and provided good fodder for my blog.
See, as I was discussing it with the dear husband, it occurred to me that, of course we know easily what our best friend is describing, because we know our best friend. We spend time together. We study each other. We laugh and talk and cry and complain and rejoice. We know that person. Which brings me to the real point of my writing. That’s how it’s supposed to be with God. So often, I hear people say “I’m just not sure what to do.” “I’ve got to really pray about it.” “Guess all I can do is pray.” Now….I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray about the things that are important to us. Of course we should! God wants us to. But, more than that, He wants relationship. Sometimes, we reason we don’t know what God wants us to do in a situation is that we haven’t spent enough time with Him to truly know Him. The way we know our best friend. The Bible says we should pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Ummm….I’m pretty sure that means we shouldn’t quit. At all. As I heard one preacher put it, our lives should become a prayer. Or as Brother Lawrence taught, we should practice the presence of God. Act like He’s always beside you. Because, well, He is!
I’m not big into resolutions. I find that I tend to break them long before they ever take hold. However, I do believe that the beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the past year – the good, the bad and the ugly – and look forward to the new year and God’s plan for us in it. So, with this is mind, I challenge you (as I’m challenging myself) to make a resolution. Not about your weight, eating habits, television habits, vices that need to be kicked or even about Bible reading. I challenge you to simply do this: seek God. Hunger and thirst after the things that matter in His kingdom. Learn to know His likes and dislikes as well as you know what kind of candy and soda your best friend prefers.
Hymns are not my favorite song genre, but there are a few that really speak to me. The first verse and chorus of “In the Garden” have been rolling in my head this morning and they speak exactly to what I’m saying:
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear,
Falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And he walks with me
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
So, there it is. The answer to everything. Time with Jesus. The One who died on a cross for our sins and rose again three days later. The One Who saves us, Who created us, Who loves us.
I pray your 2013 is better than your 2013. I pray your heart finds fulfillment in the One True God. I pray that your riches in Heaven are built up, no matter what your “riches” on earth look like. And I pray that, in all you do, you point others to the same Jesus that saved you.
Happy New Year!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them….and Jesus does too!