I did not like last year. Yes, I trust God knew exactly what He was doing. He is sovereign and good; that that will never change. I truly thank Him for it all. If given the choice, however, I would rather not do 2020 again.
I worked hard last year — harder than the previous one. I had no extra time to clean closets or pull out old “to do” lists. I accomplished no special goals nor read extra books. I am not, generally speaking, bitter about work. I like being busy. In fact, I have said many times that I never want to go on a cruise — a week of reading magazines by the pool bores me. I know that makes many think I am crazy, but I want to go do something. Plus, I believe God created work and gave it to me as a gift. In fact, God designed us to work a lot — six out of seven days (that’s 85 percent of the time).
After a tiring 2020, I did not enter 2021 uniquely recharged or energized. Nor was I inclined to think we were on the verge of things getting easier. So while looking at my ideas for goals for 2021 (I love new ideas!), I set them all aside and selected only one. One that energizes, one I can unintentionally forget when things get busy and one that fuels the rest. Philippians 1:9-11 motivated my decision:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Years ago a friend asked me the question – what most enables you to worship? Or asked other ways – what fuels your affection for Jesus? What tends to give you a sense of God’s presence, even though you know He’s always there? What makes you love Him more? Certainly the Scriptures and prayer come to mind. As I have asked other people these questions, I have seen a joy emerge even though their specific answers vary. Some said listening to worship music or sitting outside reading the Bible or sharing the gospel with someone who does not know Jesus. When I ask myself, I realize I have multiple answers for different seasons. There are several outdoor “spots” in Fort Worth — one that has “my” bench where Jesus, the breeze and the sun on my face intertwine. A specific hymn I play on my piano. Several favorite passages of Scripture. Certain people I do not get to see often but mark my spiritual life. Different places of service.
I realize that the “rebuilding” of this year might require more than usual — more fuel, more stamina, more joy, more wisdom. I need and want my love to “abound more and more.” So I put that, and only that, on my list. In the midst of busyness and laziness and chaos and uncertainty, I sadly de-prioritize things that most enable me to worship. Perhaps not this year. What makes your “love abound more and more”? I asked myself that question and am purposing to keep asking myself. Would you like to join me? What most enables you to worship — regardless of what you do this year, do that.