Being one year older is an immense responsibility, all the more so because we don't realize it is.
God having given me another year makes me wonder whether I'm worthy of it; whether I've used His last gift to me well.
As I get older, strangely enough, I feel like I'm getting more foolish. Hopefully not because I haven't learnt anything--I believe I've learnt a lot, am learning a lot with every year--but because I get more and more aware of my innate foolishness. Oh dear. With every year I feel I'm discovering my mental age is less than I thought it was the year before; another prick to the balloon of self-esteem!
On a serious note, a great fear which springs from this is that I will stumble others through my foolishness/weakness. There are so many dreams and aspirations I have, within the desire to glorify God. Yet, with very human cynicism--and I've been told that I'm astonishingly cynical--every one can also be potential to stumble others or be a bad witness. And based on my track record, it seems quite likely I'll do just that.
Reading Psalm 69, my heart uttered a great 'amen!' when I came to verse 5 and 6:
O God, You know my foolishness;
And my sins are not hidden from You.
Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of hosts,
be ashamed because of me;
Let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel...
My prayer for 2015 is Philippians 1:9-11, which has long been a favourite verse of mine and also a prayer for dear friends.
And this I pray,
that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
that you may discern the things that are excellent,
that you may be sincere and without offence in the day of Christ,
being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are in Christ Jesus,
to the glory and praise of God.
I want a heart enlarged to love others more and better...'in knowledge and all discernment.'
The temptation is to become more cynical, more selfish, more unloving, as you see the sin in others, meet more unlovable people.
I want eyes that can see true worth, help me to fix my priorities on worthwhile things, and not be distracted by what merely seems or feels attractive.
I want to be sincere. In our culture, superficiality and hypocrisy are doing very well, thank you; not just in institutionalized religion, as most of the hype focuses on, but just as much in secular life. It characterizes our social lives and we've been deceived into thinking that's the norm--I won't bother to mention social media platforms, which could quite accurately be renamed superficiality centers or hypocrisy hubs.
Whether about faith, feelings, or opinions, I want to be sincere--but 'without offence.' Gentleness. Humility. Above all, love. Truth, which can be devastating without love--as the truth about our sin and rejection of God would be--will become transformation, if there's love; just as Christ's love changed the whole equation, making the bleak truth of our sin into a truth full of hope, hope in His love and power.
I want my life to be fruitful and useful. A life of blessing. A life of investing in people, of living purposefully, of working hard and dreaming hard. Of serving. Of creating beauty and bringing joy. Of Christ-likeness....
A life, 'to the glory and praise of God.'
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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