Before New Year’s Eve, I had given a lot of thought to what my “word” for 2016 would be. Last year I decided that, rather than make one “blanket” resolution that I would probably lose interest in keeping, I would pick one word and set goals for myself associated with that word to keep me focused . Although I got off track several times throughout the year and didn’t meet my expectations for ALL of my goals, God was faithful to remind me of my word throughout the year and He gently steered me back on course when I found myself chasing little white rabbits down every trail. By the end of December I found myself reflecting on the ways I had accomplished my goals instead of beating myself up over all the ways I had fallen short. So, as the year came to a close, I began asking God to help me choose the word to keep me focused in the upcoming year. By Thursday (New Year’s Eve) I was certain I had not only one, but TWO words to keep me focused for 2016.
And then I woke up Monday morning.
At 5:15 I began my routine. I poured a cup of coffee, opened my Bible to Matthew, and settled in to read the Sermon on the Mount. And there they were….these two little verses….tucked neatly in a section where they don’t even seem to belong.
And just like that–only four days into the new year–God took my 2 focus words, wadded them up like balls of paper in that Paper Toss app, and tossed them right out of my heart before I even knew what hit me.
Left in their place was a new word:
As I thought about my goals and all of the one million good things I want to do this year, I could almost hear the Holy Spirit begin challenge me:
“Why do you want to do all of these things?”
“How many of them are for your own benefit and how many are actually for God?”
“Is there any room on your list of goals to let Him use your time, efforts, and talents to bring honor and glory Himself?”
“Are you planning to use 2016 to make Him more famous or for your own selfish gain?”
These “thoughts” stopped me dead in my tracks. You see, I don’t want my life to be simply about making myself happy and achieving my goals for me. I believe that is the epitome of darkness masquerading as light. I set goals, I achieve them, I become better, happier, skinnier, stronger, wealthier, wiser….and before I know it the only light within me is overwhelming darkness because I have watered every lie-seed that the Enemy planted. I am overgrown with pride and obsessed with self.
So this year I am choosing to fix my spiritual eyes on the Source of true, everlasting Light. I want to draw closer and fall deeper in love with Him. I want live, breathe, talk, listen, learn, grow, give, receive, and write words to make Him famous. I want to choose goals that allow Him to use my time, efforts, and the talents that He gave me to reach others with His love. I want to inhale the ridiculous grace that He gives me and exhale it all over people who don’t deserve it any more than I do. I want to fix my gaze on Him–on His mercy, love, and grace that I have done absolutely nothing to earn. And I want to reflect that mercy, love, and grace to a world and to people that need Him as desperately as I.
“Vision” is my word for 2016. And may it ever be fixed on Him.