From all the crew here at the The Conservative Treehouse, we wish you the best new year ever. Over the years you have laughed and cried, celebrated and prayed with us, not only for our country, our President, and many events that have brought this rag tab bunch together in mutual interest, but for each other and our families.
We wish you the very best today and every day to follow, and appreciate the fact that you are here with us.
Some of us believe in New Year’s Resolutions and some don’t. In the past I have devoted a lot of time to coming up with too many things to put on my list. These past years I have greatly pared it down to a few things.
After that I looked underneath the one or two things most important to me, to see if I could think about specific things to bring about the end result I wanted, and work on basics.
This year I have yet another approach, but it is really hard to put into words and share. A few weeks ago our priest suggested (and of course I am paraphrasing his idea here, but trying very hard to stick to his meaning) that we limit God with our idea of who He is, what He is capable of, what His plans ought to be.
Because we are small, timid, afraid spiritually, and most of all perhaps, afraid to really trust Him enough, we stick to really little things, we approach the perimeters of His greatness, glory, mercy, and wonderful design, for us, for all humanity, for all of history, unfolding now and forever.
Despite constant evidence that great things are accomplished by people just exactly like you and me, despite the two thousand year history of Christianity, despite the ages old history of God’s faithfulness to His people, we cower and rarely venture out in faith, in hope, in charity, fully clothed in the power that is ours to call on.
This year I am going to work on changing my vision. Can’t say that today or any other day it will be a done deal, but I am going to try to remember to ask God not only for what might be no trouble for Him, some little thing that is likely to come my way anyhow. And nope, it won’t be asking to win the lottery or something along those lines.
I am going to try to open my heart, give God my fears and insecurities and let Him help me grow into whatever He might intend. That isn’t really easy for me, because first of all, I am a control freak. Second, I naturally try to boss people around, and I think I am pretty good at logistics and getting things done. I like to plan things.
Most of all though, I read a lot, and observe things. Giving God control is not an easy thing, and there actually is a lot that can be scary about it. He has a habit of taking a lot of people where they don’t want to go.
John chapter 21, v 18 says:
* Amen, amen, I say to you,j when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Now, I do not expect to be martyred as St. Peter was, and every other apostle except St. John, but I do think that God expects me to sacrifice myself to His work and plans, and I absolutely have no agreement or basis of understanding for the prosperity gospel folks.
As I read the Bible, I am told that Jesus expects me, tells me himself, to take up my cross and follow him. And I should do it joyfully because he promises to help make that burden light.
So, this year I hope to work to trust that promise, and learn that way. I really suck at that. I’ve pretty much failed every attempt, with a few exceptions, exceptions that were in fact gifts of pure grace from God, not my doing at all, just rare moments of me not getting in His way.
So, this year, I figure my best bet is to start everyday with the truth. Jesus, Father God, Holy Spirit, I am afraid, I can’t do this, but I believe you can. Help me, lead me, carry me today, for I have nothing to give, so please, please, help me empty myself and let you do the work. I am not sure I even have the ability to crack the door open God, so please, would you just come in and get started on me today?
You see, I might never be courageous, faith filled, or even able to say yes and do it, even in little ways. But I finally believe that I can just tell Him that and hopefully hang on for the ride.
I hope you will pray for me, as I will for you guys. Happy New Year. Ask.Big.Things.