January 9, 2009 § Leave a comment
It can sneak up on you so quickly. It falls, like winter rain and a winter blanket all at the same time, refreshing and warm. And from the simplest of things like a hot cup of strong coffee after the cool-down from a chilly run. Suddenly, it’s a good morning.
January 4, 2009 § Leave a comment
I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never made a list and taped it to the fridge or the bathroom mirror.
I don’t know why.
At the turn of each new year I certainly do spend a great deal of time ruminating on the person I have been and planning the person I want to be. I’ve probably never been much of a resolution-maker because making a list is tantamount to making a declaration, a declaration that I am not perfect, a concession to the fact that I have a long way to go yet.
I’m probably shying away from the experience of seeing my shortcomings in the stark black and white of ink on paper. Still, the truth remains that in many areas of my life—in the lives of everyone—there is room for improvement, there are changes to be made.
So, if I were to make a list right now, right this minute, of the changes I could—and perhaps should—make, what would be on the list?
Well, I’d like to spend less and save more.
I’d like to invest less time in meaningless nonsense and devote my time to things that matter. (I know, that one’s a bit vague. I think I’m still trying to get a handle on which things fall into which categories.)
I’d like to eat less and exercise more. (I know, if I don’t set specific goals I won’t see specific results.)
I’d like to learn to skateboard and play the guitar.
While I’m at it maybe I should just go ahead and write the next great American novel, become a U. N. Ambassador and fly to the moon.
My list could be plausible, it could be crazy, it could be inspiring, it could be endless. There are so many things I could improve upon, so many things I could become. Where do I begin?
I live in a world that’s constantly changing. By what standard am I supposed to measure the changes I should live?
I have to measure my changes by something that stays the same. And that measure is, of course, God. He is unchanging. While I’m imagining myself as someone else… he is what he is. There’s no room for improvement. He is all that is good. He is all that is right.
Today I read Exodus 20, and the first three verses say this:
“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.’ ”
What a statement! “You shall have no other gods before me.” He’s setting a standard.
“I am the standard. Don’t worship anything else because nothing else is worth it. I am the measuring stick!”
Now that is a declaration, a declaration in the stark black and white of ink on paper.
And he is the standard always. He was the same God at midnight that he was at 11:59, and he is the same God now.
As I ponder over resolutions and changes I may decide to make he does not change. So what will my resolutions be based upon? Will they be based on comparisons with other people? Will they be based on my self-esteem, my selfishness, my self-motivation, or the myriad of things that I think I might be able to do better? Or will they be based upon my unchanging God who has a plan to change me, to guide me into being the person he made me to be?
Because God is not only the measuring stick; he is also the one with the power to make me measure up.