After a particularly hard and frustrating day I will lay in bed and ask of God, “Is this really the kind of life you created me to live?” Of course, I know the answer. I can go back through my day and hear the Spirit say quietly to me, “Remember that email that caused you so much anxiety? I have told you to ‘be anxious for nothing’. Is there some part of ‘nothing’ you didn’t understand?” If I allow him, the Spirit will gently but truthfully expose my pride, my greed and my lack of courageous faith.
As I look back and see missed opportunities to be salt and light, wrong motives and a distracted mind, I can only conclude that somehow I missed a day that could have been special. I turned 16 hours of God-blessed life into a grind. I was a poor steward of a precious gift, and my disconsolate spirit at day’s end was the harvest of all that I’d sown throughout the day.
I sigh deeply, repent, and commit myself to do better should God grant me another dawn.
As I enter this last evening of 2012, I wonder if I have the courage to ask the same question on the macro-scale of the entirety of a year gone by? Do I dare ask of 365 days now completed, “Lord, did I live this year the way you created me to live?” Regardless of how I answer that question or how the year unfolded, there are several things I know with absolute certainty:
1 – Every moment of anxiety was unnecessary and an act of disobedience.
2 – Every fear was a failure of faith.
3 – God had bigger plans for me than I ever even dreamt of.
4 – In every moment of spiritual dryness there was a gushing well right beside me.
5 – There was not one moment, not one nano-second in the entire year when God did not love me with an overwhelming love.
6 – God provided for my every need…kinda like he promised he would.
7 – There were countless moments when God stood ready for me to ask him for help, to look to him for guidance and to seek him for strength, and I responded by relying on my own ability.
As I close out this year I am aware that God has so much more for me in 2013. That quest starts tomorrow. For tonight, I will ponder all that God did for me, and all that I refused to let him do in me and through me in 2012. The future is rich with promise and possibilities, but it starts with a sober reflection on what was missed in the past. It is a unique annual moment of reflection, honesty and repentance.
Was this year lived the way God created you to live it? Will you join me in asking that question for yourself?