This new year has begun how most of them do: both slowly- with 360 days ahead of us still; and with the drop of a ball- so sudden. Such hope. New year, new you, right?
Do you feel new yet?
Oh, it’s all over the place, isn’t it though- these ways to become new. There’s the way of organization tips and mindfulness tips and the way of health and eating and exercising tips and ways to become better and different and you… only improved. There’s scheduling strategies and the approaches to laundry that will surely save your sanity and ways to make date nights a priority with your husband.
But how ‘bout these apples: I’ve already yelled at my kids this year, ate ice cream when I said I’d go a month without, missed days of working out, and worried about things outside of my control. We’re on Day Eight, 2018.
What am I to do now?
I could ask for a do-over, I could resolve to do better, I could do more to get things done. I could focus in on one strategy that will help me become my best self.
Some of these ways get me close.
But here’s the secret: They’re not what makes me new.
Those ways might help point to freedom, but they’re not what gives freedom.
Love is so much bigger than that.
This love, I remember it. We just talked about it a few weeks back. There was a baby in a manger. There was the light of the world come down into the world.
God. With us.
Not only in the manger, not only in an ornament on the advent calendar, but here and now in January too and every day after, with us. It’s pretty revolutionary, really.
It’s this light, this love, that makes us new.
We might be able to change some of our behaviors, for a little bit, at least. But the only thing that can change our hearts deep down, where it counts, is this love.
And suddenly this new year seems so much simpler than it did a few days prior: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
That whole big year that stares at me with change and unknown and big decisions and unruly kids and a mama’s overwhelmed and impatient heart and this big, deep fear that I can’t handle any of it?
There’s a thousand different ways this can look- so the best way to figure out how it actually looks in my own actual life? At the feet of Jesus, with Love himself.
We can stop spinning our wheels because I now know the best way to spend the year: with Jesus, imitating Jesus, being Jesus, resting in Jesus. The is the only place where I will become my best self, the only place I will find strength, peace, patience, hope, grit. The only place where, in the still, small places of my soul, that I will know the next steps to take and the way to express that faith through love.
The rest of it? It’s all fine, it’s going to be fine. The worries too big, the mountains too grand, the unknowns too scary, the resolutions broken. It’s all going to be fine.
The way through it all?
The Light of the World is with us, remember?
He knows the way.
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