I find myself a few days behind writing a New Year’s post, but to be honest, I am glad about it. My thoughts and dreams and aspirations for this year, my resolve concerning what I wish to accomplish…it’s all so very different from years past…as if my die-hard, list-making, controlling, OCD, check-off-all-the-boxes self has moved over and made room for agents of real change: grace, self-control, humility, service, love.
So my inaugural post of 2013 is a Sabbath Reflections post. It is Sunday morning. And though I give myself a hearty pat on the back for flossing my teeth and making my bed this morning (items straight off The List, don’t you know), on this first Sunday of a new year I seek something deeper. To worship intentionally…to love deeply…to serve sacrificially…to open my eyes to the beauty and wonder around me every day.
You see, I have worked hard to reach goals in the past (paying off debt, losing 40 pounds, being better prepared for a school year, waking up early each morning) only to find my heart still in the lurch, my patience still wearing thin, and my soul still parched. Not that goal-setting and accomplishment should ever be looked upon as a bad thing…by no means! But I think I finally grasp, just a little teensy bit after all these years, why it’s not about checklists and schedules and ducks in a row. Because even if, by some miracle, all the boxes were checked and every task completed on time and those ducks were perfectly aligned…it would not satisfy the deepest longings in me. This thirst for perfection cannot be sated this side of eternity.
So where does that leave me? Tasks still await my attention…and a life well-lived does require planning and care.
But these last few days I find my heart warmed by grace, drawn to Beauty, guarded by faith, encouraged by love…and it makes me want to press on. To work a little harder. Another meal served, another shirt ironed, another pile of dishes washed. Not as a task to check off a list. Do you know why? Because it will just have to be done again tomorrow. It will never be “done”…but if such acts of work and service become a part of the Art of Life, done with grace from a heart overflowing with thanks to the One who served us, sacrificed for us, loved us when we were unlovable…then maybe they become easier. Maybe they fill us with joy and delight rather than dread and exhaustion. Maybe this is a year where true change can occur!