Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Be Emptied ... To Be Filled

Christmas 2010 has come & gone.  It really seems like our family had just celebrated Christmas ’09 and then the following week we were celebrating Christmas '10.  I keep asking “where did the year go”, but the answer is the same – time marches on.  Year after year seems to pass by faster.  And with a toddler running around the house, my days go by at a much faster pace.  
Is it really possible that 2010 is already drawing to a close?

As our New Year of 2011 approaches, I realize that I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe I've said things such as ...

“I will be diligent in praying and reading my Bible everyday”
“I will lose the extra weight that’s been attached for the past 15 years”
“I will give more of my time to volunteering”
“I will get my house organized”
“I really will get old family pictures scanned & give the originals back to my Mother”
“I need to just be a better person altogether – be more positive, be more forgiving, be less critical”

But in reality, how long do New Year's resolutions really last?  A week ... two weeks ... or if I'm really industrious, maybe a month.  Perhaps I get caught up in everyday activities ... perhaps I need to manage my time more efficiently ... perhaps I get careless ... perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. 
Then frustration sets in that I haven't accomplished what I had resolved for the New Year.
 So this year I have a different resolution.  My New Year’s resolution encompasses every resolution I listed above --- plus ones that I haven’t even thought of yet.  When I taught middle and high school at a Christian school, my motto was

When we focus on God everything falls together,
But when we lose that focus everything falls apart.

Having God as my focal-point allows me to put my faith, trust and complete confidence in Him.  And to know that He works everything for His glory (Romans 8:28) No, this doesn’t mean that I will always get ‘my way’.  But it does mean that I will always get HIS best.  My attitude is then in alignment with His will.    

On the other side, when He is not my focal-point, my main motive is really anything but God’s glory.  For me, this is when I try to do things on my own – without God.  It’s like the old expression “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole”.  No matter how hard I try on my own, I end up frustrated and upset that I’m not getting my way.  Unfortunately, during these times I'm really saying to God “I don’t need you”.  (But in the depths of my heart, I know for a fact that I need Him above anything else).  
My whole attitude is just miserable at that point. 

So, I have actually begun my 2011 New Year’s resolution before 2010 comes to a close.  My resolve is to be emptied of all the empty things that consume me.  God and I are working on my “list” of empty things.  It’s a work in progress as He shows me unnecessary things that I need to let go.  I'm prepared for some growing pains, some stretching, and a lot of time on my knees.  Although I've already been shown a few things to let go of, I know there's plenty more to add to the list.  

My Granny always said that the day she quit learning would be the day that she was with Jesus.  Paul tells us in Philippians that He who began a good work in each of us will be faithful to complete it to the end.  I'm thankful that God loves me enough to continue to mold and shape me into the person He created me to be.  I'm ready --- with His help.

“Empty me of all the empty things that I hold on to, 
Come and fill my heart with You”


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