Friday, December 28, 2012

In The Secret, Quiet Place

I don’t particularly like my writing to be compelled, but sometimes it is worse to buck than it is to go with it.  In this case, with the new year approaching I do feel like it would be good to write about it, and so I will.

With every new year there usually comes a whole bunch of resolutions.  Never eat again.  Exercise daily.  Read more. You know, the usuals.  The thing that strikes me about resolutions is that they operate under the assumption that January 1st will suddenly give us the ability to do what we have not been able to do the 364 days before that.  

For the record, I do not do resolutions the conventional way, if I do them at all.  Some years I do resolutions and some I don’t...but when I do, I actually start them before January 1st.  My goal is to already be on the road to change as I ring in the new year.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is because change takes time, and there are likely to be some ups and downs along the way.  I prefer to have the “downs” happen in the “old” year.  It is all just psychological, but this way by the time the new year comes I am past the hardest part of changing, which is steadying your feet on the first step.  The second reason I do this is because I am a big fan of crescendos.  I think we fall victim of the classic decrescendo because we insist on starting off with as big of a bang as possible.  You know, you decide you want to get in shape so you spend a thousand bucks on equipment and sneakers, announce to anyone who will listen your fitness plan, and spend hours googling everything you can about exercising and dieting.  

The problem with this is that you have no place to really go but down.  Even if you faithfully do all that you intended, it is just maintaining all the hoopla that you have built up.  But more often than not, you start on the highest note possible, and then it fizzles out.  Decrescendo.  I prefer to start quietly...if you keep your plans low-key, then every step you take is a step up.  You don’t have to announce change- simply live it out and people will see it.

I do think resolutions can be a really great thing.  There is something very innate about the desire to start fresh in a new year.  I just think we get way to fixated on the outside- the visible.  Both the approach and the goals themselves tend to be very shallow.  The truth is, change- real, good, God honoring change- starts on the inside and takes time to accomplish.  You cannot simply become a new person just because the clock strikes twelve.  You also cannot start from the outside and work your way in.  Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.  Your outer person is merely a reflection what is on the inside.  When you meet someone for the first time, you initially see just their outer person. But it can take as little as five minutes for that outer picture to become a reflection of what’s really on the inside...for the good and for the bad.  

Take a good look at yourself...what do you see inside?

I look and I see someone who wastes time.  I see someone who does not enter into His presence nearly enough.  I see someone who is critical and judgmental.  I see someone who lacks patience.  I see a discrepancy between who I think I am and who I actually am.  I see someone who needs to change.

It starts in the secret, quiet place.  It starts with the soul's yearning for something more- something better.  It starts with the Word spoken to our innermost being.  It starts with Him and ends with you.

We still have a few days before the new year comes.  I want to start now.  I want to be changing now.  I am not promised January 1st, but I do have today.  I want to resolve to be peaceful and loving, joyous and merciful, patient and kind.  I want to stop proclaiming from the mountain tops and start whispering faithfully.  Some days you will fail and some days you will succeed.  The only real way to keep your resolutions is to wake up every day as if it’s the wake up every day deciding to live it for Him.

I do not know what this year will hold, both personally and globally.  The only way I can be ready for any of it is to make sure my soul is set in Him daily.  That much I resolve both for the new year and for every day until He comes.  

Should the Lord tarry, I will see you all in 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifullly said . So true. There are so many things on the inside I need to change. I resolve to be more patient...especially with my family, to talk more to the Lord...our relationship needs to draw near. I resolve to let God work in me....I desire to be more loving. I also desire to try my best with God's help provide my family with good meals and spend more time playing with my daughters and less time watching tv. Thank you Ash for your blog.....cant wait to get together in April! Barbara.