Happy New Year! May God bless you and your family in all you do, and fill you with gratitude, wisdom, and joy as you go through your days.
I, too, pray for wisdom, gratitude, and joy this year. That is probably why my New Year’s thoughts are somewhat different for 2015. Rather than focusing directly on health, homemaking, homeschooling, or other worthwhile practical resolutions, I want to spend this year more focused on my two main goals, loving God and loving my neighbor.
However, as I was struggling to make this double love commandment practical, I could not come to any satisfying goals or resolutions.
Of course, I, like you, am already trying to live this way; despite frequent failures, that’s just what we Christians do. Even so, December is such a good time to reflect on what is working well, what is causing negative results, and what should be changed. I like to be clear about these things at the beginning of a new year.
But my thoughts were foggy and scattered, and clarity seemed just beyond a filmy veil.
Then we had a New Year’s Eve sermon about Moses’ prayer, Psalm 90, about God being our dwelling place. He is so great, we are so transient. He is so holy; we are so sinful. Our lives are like a breath that disappears…like a sigh, even. So much of what we read is discouraging…yet how does Moses continue? He asks God to
Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Number our days. Think about them in the light of Psalm 90, in the light of God’s greatness and our sinful humanness. Somehow that will lead to wisdom. But how does this work? I mean, what do I do? How do I go about it?
Then one long night, as the dark hours stretched on, my mind began this numbering process, literally.
- My days: Thirty or forty more years if my health improves; otherwise less.
- My husband’s days: Statistically speaking, significantly less than mine, a chilling thought.
- Our children’s at home days: Probably no more than ten years before they all leave, such a short time!
- Our parents’ days: God could call them home any time, maybe after just a few more phone calls.
- And the days of other loved ones: Siblings, friends, and church family will not live forever either.
As I lay thinking in those dark, quiet hours, I realized that the years of frequent funerals are approaching quickly.
Suddenly there was only one solution to my goal for the New Year: Connect. Simply to connect with loved ones who are as transient as I am.
And even more importantly, to connect with God, as Moses begged in the rest of Psalm 90.
Return O God, satisfy us with your love in the morning, fill us with joy, open our eyes to pay attention to your works, let your favor rest on us, let our work have meaning and permanence. Please, O God, after showing us our transience and sin, please let us have the joy of connecting with you. Moses did not know about Jesus, who made this connection possible, but we do, and so we ask, with Moses, Please be our secure dwelling place from which we can venture forth to do what you have called us to do.
With this solid foundation to our lives, we can connect deeply with others:
- Love and enjoy our spouses, giving thanks for each precious day together.
- Show love, God’s and ours, to our children while they are still around every day.
- Connect with our parents if they are still alive, honoring them and savoring each conversation.
- Reach out to others, all busily living their own stories, all needing God’s love and, in varying degrees, ours.
Of course, there are a thousand practical ways of doing these things and dozens of practical background things that need to be done to make it all happen. As the year progresses I will rediscover that reality. But the main goal, the one I will review at least every week, hopefully every day, is simply this: to connect.
At the end of all that pondering, I realized that my theme for the year is just a rewording of the double love commandment that Jesus gave us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Now, thanks to Moses’ prayer, Jesus’ command has become intensely meaningful for me in that one simple word, connect. What a blessing that is!
I pray that these thoughts will also bless you, dear reader. May God be with us all in 2015 and give meaning and permanence to our work, including our goals and resolutions.
Looking back, I notice that months ago God was already lining up resources for me about this idea of connecting! I’ve become aware of two of them since writing this meditation and plan to share them with you in the future after absorbing and understanding them.
This is part of a series of occasional meditations about daily life, Bible readings, and our pastor’s sermons based, in this case, on Psalm 90.
For more encouragement, visit Coffee for Your Heart, Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Mom to Mom Monday, Monday’s Musings, Missional Weekend, R&R Wednesdays, From House to Home, Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Mondays.