Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reflections on the New Year

I haven't blogged in almost two weeks. Due to traveling and other Christmas activities, my time on the computer was not as regular as it usually is. I just got caught up in my blog reading yesterday. I have had some time to reflect on the year that has past, and also to look ahead to the new one.

I've heard it said that the only constant in life is change. That has certainly been true in the past year. My job responsibilities changed, and I'm now working on a more individual basis with a few students. I enjoy it more than what I was doing, and I feel like I'm actually helping them. Jan left her job at the assisted living facility, and is teaching part time and cooking for a retreat center part time. Our church has not grown this year, in fact it has actually shrunk. That's a good thing though. We made the decision to try and be open to each other and learn to live life with each other. It's been an interesting experience, and I think we've grown closer as a community and have experienced a measure of healing and freedom. It will be interesting to see what the Father will do in us in 2011. God has been teaching me how to go through my day-to-day being aware of his presence, and focus on listening and doing what he tells me to do. I am learning, although there are times when what I think is the voice of God is just my addled brain talking.

I'm looking forward to this year. I'm sure it will bring changes, some positive, some not so much. I don't make resolutions, mainly because I never keep them. :) I do have certain things I want to see happen. You can call them goals if you want. I want to live in awareness of God's presence more each day and hear his voice. I want the courage to take risks when the Spirit directs me. I want to love God and others with abandon, not worrying about what people may think. I want to be a blessing to my faith community, and to others that I come in contact with. I want to be a better husband, loving Jan more as Christ loved the Church. I want to be a better father to my adult children, letting them see Jesus.

I know the road ahead will take some turns. There will be some bumps, and there will be times when I will mess up. The one thing I know for certain is that my relationship with my Father doesn't hinge on how many resolutions I make and keep, on how well I perform certain spiritual duties, or on anything that I do. Abba loves me, and there is nothing I can do that will change that in any way. I can be the prodigal, the elder brother, or something in between, and God still loves me with a reckless, graceful love. That is why I look forward to the year ahead.

You may make resolutions at the start of a new year, or you may not. You may set goals, and plan how to reach those goals. That's fine. Just remember that some goals will be met, but others will not be realized. Some resolutions will be shelved until next year. Remember also, that your Father loves you and will continue to love you the same no matter whether you keep all your resolutions or not. You are free, free to make resolutions and then break them, free to set goals and then not meet them.
Jesus came to give us a full, abundant life. So, live. Be free. Abba loves you.

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