Life centers around time.
Always has, I suppose.
After all, the rise and set of the sun is the one sure constant in our allotted existence on this spinning ball of dirt.
And so we come again to the eve of the eve of another new year.
Some folks make resolutions. Some start diets. Some create goals. Some do nothing.
Usually, I do nothing. If I’m lucky enough to be home on New Year’s Eve, I fall into a contended sleep well before midnight to the sounds of my out-of-this-world teenagers laughing and playing as a network TV show broadcasts the NYC ball drop in the background.
But this year, I felt a nudge.
The nudge to claim…or perhaps proclaim…a word for the year over my life.
Truthfully, I really hadn’t thought one way or the other about choosing a word for 2015. But that nudge kept at me.
And so I turned.
The word I heard is
Not an easy word. In fact, I can think of a whole lot of other words I’d rather linger over…joy, for example. Grace. Hope. Peace. NAP. Cook. Get the teenagers to school on time. Dust the baseboards. Dogs (’cause we have three in case you didn’t know).
Did I mention NAP?
Besides a challenge, the word causes a lot of ruckus in some circles. Husbands and wives. Egalitarians and complementarians. Teachers and students. Preachers and flocks. Parents and children. And on and on and on. We’re all supposed to be equal nowadays, right? Pull-ourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps, do-it-our-selfers. Obedient to our selves. The word reminds me of a wedding I attended in the early 1990’s in which the bride chose to keep the phrase about “obey” in the vows. Several friends in attendance threw a fit…after all, why should a bride cow-tow to a husband? The idea of submission and authority, authority and submission, those ideas are
eye-rolling-ly last millennium…right?
I don’t know about all that. And frankly,
I don’t care.
The Gospel doesn’t need defending or deciphering as much as it needs believing. And besides that, my Lord has called me to obedience.
Responding to His whisper when the call of the world threatens to burst my ears.
Going forward when common sense says to go back.
Speaking out when others say to be silent.
Seeking silence when others say to speak out.
Worshipping when others justify cursing.
Forging on straight when left or right seems easier.
Trusting when I’m wallowing in doubt.
Hiding in Him when I’m attacked.
Ministering when I’d rather be ministered to.
Following Him instead of my own understanding.
When faced with these and more, I will try my best to choose
Like dumb oxen straining against dusty,rock-hard plains, a thousand ways of our own seem easier until we slip the harness of His gentle yoke around our burdened necks and are reminded again that in
lies the blessing.
Since Jacob, we’ve all wrestled with God and in His infinite mercy, and He has always entertained our weak-limbed attempts at independence. He even watches with grief and allows us to choose to wander far, far away. But still He lingers, the Good Shepherd, waiting to take us back, always.
What a word.
What a calling.
Not just for me, but for all of us.
What a year I hope to submit to Him.
What about you?
What’s your word for the year?
Or, what is one of your resolutions for 2015?