In 2015 I will not… fear

Photo by Mihaela Muntean (c)

Photo by Mihaela Muntean (c)

As the fervour of another New Year sets in and everyone contemplates resolutions and fresh starts, there are many for whom the start of 2015 does not conjure up anticipation and excited expectation. They won’t make any resolutions or dare to dream of lofty pursuits; they may be uncertain of what lies ahead. Many just want to get by and survive the year without too much trouble.

As I look ahead to 2015, not one particular aspiration or goal springs to mind for me. It’s as if I’m open to ideas and direction as each day passes.

I’m not against goals and dreams – I think they can be helpful. It’s just that I’m not really sure what I will pursue yet – and as my faith is the most intrinsic part of my life, that means waiting on God and his leading.

The verses found in Proverbs 16:3 and Proverbs 3:5-6 are comforting sources of guidance. Essentially, the verses infer that it’s OK to make plans & commit them to God, who’ll ultimately direct our paths and make the way ahead straight. But I don’t have to make plans which begin on January 1.

Inspiration or revelation can come at any time, and each day can be seized with enthusiasm and giving my all.

It’s good to set goals, but it’s even better to listen to God, who doesn’t work according to my timetable or limitations. He doesn’t tend to stick to the calendar or restrict himself to our human conventions or practices, so I want to be open to his leading/backtracking/ sidestepping or detours.

Flexibility might just well be what God wants me to learn this year. It was while he was en route to heal Jairus’ daughter that Jesus let himself be distracted by the woman with an embarrassing uterine problem. Will I let myself be distracted by other people or situations that God puts in my path, for the purpose of life changing impact? Or will I be so intent on following my own agenda that I miss the plans God has for my life?

Life can be a beautiful mess when we’re open to exploring the alleyways and crooked places where Christ wants to shine his light, often away from the smooth, easy path we would lay out for ourselves.

So this year I’m not going to set myself impressive targets. I’m simply going to be open to where God’s leading me and not fear for the future. There’s much to be worried about and always something that demands my attention. But, for now, that still, small voice impressed upon me these words: “I will not fear for the future.”

It’s That Time Again – New Year, New Start/ FaithWalk


Graphics credit – Sweet Dreamz Design, Creative Commons

The wonder of fresh starts… Even the word ‘fresh’ conjures up images of warm, baked bread, newborn babies, crisp cotton sheets or budding shoots of spring. It just sounds right – something positive we should embrace.

As we approach another new year, the vibe online has begun to spread epically over the last few days. It’s all about resolutions, goals, plans and dreams.

We have grown accustomed to valuing the first day of the year, almost to mystical proportions; you can feel it in the air. The first day of January demands our attention.

Such is the fervour and interest in what others have begun or have planned, that it’s difficult not to get caught up in an urgency to formulate our own resolution; perhaps a measure of guilt or jealousy if we ourselves have not aspired to equally lofty goals.

A few days into January though, and often we find that the super plan to get fit, stop smoking or start a new daily habit, has been hijacked by other life events, crises or distractions. Failure looms over our heads and we think we may as well give up.

Perhaps our goal was too ambitious. So next year we make none at all. But deep down something tugs at our spirit, almost willing us to at least attempt a new start.

Something is built into our psyche, that propels us forward, urging us to not settle for mediocre, not settle for the way we are. We know that we are capable of more.

The beauty of the Christian life is that every day is a fresh start, a new chance to start again. We can defy Western convention which dictates when a clean page may begin, such as January 1st or a milestone birthday – whether 30th, 40th or 60th.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say… “And on the first day of the next year the man of God rose early and decided to change the course of his life by making a few major decisions and plans.”

No! We are not to be restricted by cultural norms or ancient traditions. Every day can start anew. Every day is an opportunity to pursue a goal or make a difference.

2 Corinthians 5:17 confirms this: “Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.”

I love that. If my life is entwined with Christ’s, the new has come. That holds true every day of the year.

Now is the time to do what you know is right or begin what you know you must complete. Christ in you can make it possible.

A fresh start. Why wait a couple more days? December 30, 2012 can be the day you made a change that changed your life. Do it!

(Astute readers may note that in my last post I stated that that would be the last one of the year. Well I changed my mind and didn’t want to wait ’til New Year’s Day!)