We are on the doorstep of a new year. A new year causes, even forces us to evaluate the previous year. The year started for me with a hospital visit. That took a twist and turn and for 6+ weeks I was out of commission. Not the way one would usually decide to start the year. There were lessons learned. I learned that you never know what a day holds. I started the day seemingly healthy, and ended the next day in the hospital. Another lesson I learned is that when you stop the world keeps on going. I have known that, but it was brought home to me with greater force. Because I was stopped the world did not stop with me.
A lot of things can be accomplished in a year. A lot can be put off in a year. Little steps can lead to significant distances reached. Much of what I reflect upon concerning this past year revolves around change. Changes made in my life and the lives of others. I think of pastoral families that have moved to other God-given opportunities. I think of the passing of friends and former parishioners. I reflect on changes in the world and our nation. Mostly I should reflect on changes I have made. A subtle perspective of the human experience, is that we want others to change, while not being so interested in changing ourselves. As Christians we are in the change ‘business’. It was Jesus who drawing a child in as an illustration said ‘that unless you change and become like little children you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ Conversion means basically to change. It is quite correctly a change that leads to transformation brought about by grace through faith.
Resolution or resolved? As I see it a resolution is basically an intention. I have been told that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. We all intend to do something, sometime, somewhere. That is just it, we intend, we many times fail to execute. I will not change anything in my life until I become dissatisfied with the status quo. Until I experience a holy dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs in my life and world. I have to plan, and plan to take action regardless of how small, and start making the changes. One thing I have learned is that nothing much happens in life, until I decide and take an action or step. If you have never read the Bible, start by committing to start reading every day for five minutes. Before long it will become a habit in time. If you need to start exercising and or lose weight, don’t wait for the perfect time just get up and start moving.
My prayer for you is that 2014 will be a year of blessing and growth for you and your family. I posted a quote I read in a book regarding Xavier and his call to service for young people, I close asking God to make this true in my life this year. I pray it will be true in your life as well.
Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary of the 16th century who took the Good News of Jesus to India, Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas and other lands. He sent a co-worker back to Europe with this challenge: “Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the Gospel of Christ.” I love that one phrase in his statement: “…give up their small ambitions….” It motivates me to give up any small dreams that I harbor and to reach for something greater, something truly significant.—Brian Dodd May I give up my small ambitions in 2014 and seek His Kingdom and His righteousness