Well, we are still here. 12-21-12 was not the day. 2012 was not the year.
I still believe there will be an end to this world. I still believe the words of the Bible when it speaks of the end times. But however much promise that holds for us, it isn’t where our hearts should be. We may have a home in Heaven waiting for us, but we are still here.
And I don’t think that’s bad news. Our Lord is active in this world. We had a great time yesterday in our little church sharing good news about the healing touch of God in the people for whom we had been praying. We aren’t even a charismatic church! We just believe that we should be praying. Nor do we have any particular expectations of the Lord, except that He hears us and He loves us. And we know that He is active.
I don’t usually make resolutions, although there are things I would like to accomplish. The truth is that I have accomplished much more this year than I could have expected and I didn’t do a lot of the things I would have resolved to do. So, I am learning to trust the Lord with my days and my life. My primary goal is simply to follow Him. He will lead me to be the husband, father, pastor, counselor, writer, and whatever else He wants me to be.
But I do think that writing has produced one desire in me: I want to see others more as people. I want to treat others with value and respect and compassion. Really. As much as that scares me and threatens my idea of my need for private time and focus. I want to see others more in the way Jesus sees them.
You see, all this writing about narcissism and legalism has made me realize that it is the heart of Jesus to value each person. It is too easy to see the clerk at the store or the customer service person on the phone as just a tool of some system. It is easy to blame those poor folks for whatever frustration I am experiencing. So I want to approach each interaction with kindness and respect. I don’t want to be just one more reason they have a bad day.
And my writing on grace reminds me constantly that I don’t need to win or get what I want according to this world’s ideas. My identity is secure. If I suffer a loss on a transaction, that’s not the end of my world. If I look foolish in front of others, I am still who I was before. My life is full and free because of Jesus. He is all I need.
Perhaps a New Year gives me a little incentive to refocus. I know that it is just another day with a different number. Everything in my life is still the same. But today I can remember who I am and what I have been given. And today I can encourage someone else.
God bless all of you with a wonderful New Year!