Every new January, I find myself mentally and emotionally traveling back to the top of that heap of months where the view is fresh and the air is clear and the days seem to endlessly trip over one another with their blank calendar whitenesses just waiting to be filled with the hopes and dreams for a coming year. There’s something so refreshing and hopeful found in taking down that raggety-edged, worn out old calendar and putting up another one, still shiny and slippery-slick with newness between my fingers.
I think the equation goes something like this:
new year + new resolve (x) new beginnings = new me. (tweet)
If only it was that easy. Yet, somehow, that’s the way we’ve been conditioned by the world to behave and believe.
I’m über-amused this time of year while waiting in the grocery store checkout line and I see the shelves that for two solid months held rich delicacies and delights, and those ridiculous magazines covered with this seasons “must-have” gifts, bodies, outfits and hair, and recipes for luxuriously decadent holiday meals and desserts….
THOSE SAME SHELVES are now weighed down with exercise equipment and weight loss programs, diet plans and workout clothes. Just two months ago, I could get the recipe and ingredients for the most luscious cheesecake on the planet and now I need to focus on the best bikini butt by summer!
Seriously?!! Do they think I’m that stupid?
Maybe I am.
Or maybe I have been before.
No, not about the crazy binge/purge cycle this consumer-driven world promotes…
… but I have, in the last year, learned a very important thing about myself probably just as sinister.
Fact is, if I’m not very, very careful I can be easily seduced.
There. I said it.
Fact is, I’m convinced, unless they are comatose or living in a hole,
every living person has a “price.” (tweet)
Call it “habit”, weakness or whatever… there’s a little something in us all where, if we are not intentionally anchored to the truth, we’ll find ourselves easily swayed by the “latest” movement or emotion or teaching or fad…whatever.
I know this because I’ve been what the bible calls a “weak woman”.
Yes… this one….here:
“…weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7 ESV)
No, not on purpose…who really decides to be this way on purpose? But it’s an area I have to guard because Satan would love to have his way with me again. People pleasing. Weak. Easily swayed.
The truth of this hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday as I was trying to write this first 2013 post announcing what “one word” God has been speaking to me for the coming year. I wanted to be pretty and profound…full of grace, deep meaning and beauty.
And I couldn’t do it.
I watched the minutes give way to hours. I changed positions and locations and started over more than ten times. And each time I was left chasing the wind.
Because I was writing for you.
Because I was writing for me.
And that’s not why I must write.
It’s not why I hammered my stake into this piece of blogosphere almost one full year ago.
No, then and now, I was brought to this place from past pain, having looked dead in the face of my own depravity, led through the purging fire by the loving hand of God…. to testify….
to give an answer for the hope I have and you can have… because of Jesus Christ.
And it’s at the beginning of this new year that I wish to be absolutely honest and clear in all I do for our sake and for those who may join us in the coming year because we must be anchored deeply so that
“…we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.
We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
It’s that important.
I said this to a dear friend today: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” which is drawn from Luke 12:48 and a difficult teaching from Jesus.
All too often we decide this means we’ll give from our happy blessings. And we should. But it also means we should give and give deeply from the wells of blessing we’ve dug and discovered through lessons learned the hard way: In pain.
Not to be morose or joyless but
because there’s HOPE.
This will be my “new year” resolution (slightly shaped by Jonathan Edwards) based on this word and this privilege God has given me to walk in for 2013:
With His help, I can and will learn what it means to yield.
Not simply yielding to just anything or anyone….
His voice, His word.
And, also, as the word in Psalm 1 reveals….
there will be a “yield” as a result. It’s His promise as I stay planted, abiding with Him and blooming wherever it is
He plants me.
More to come on that later. Join me?
There will be few changes around here for the coming year.
Perhaps we’ll eat some cheesecake…who cares about bikini butts anyway? Blessings!
(guest post by Loretta Stembridge at Dancing on the Dash)
*2nd edition of Chasing Silhouettes now available HERE