Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Ps. 90:12, NIV
The year started with a theme, and a word, well, a couple of words. "Today," and the idea of "living sacrifice." The focus was to daily come and offer myself to God and to do what was before me each day.
The car accident in February took it deeper, shook me to a deeper realization of its importance, and the ways I had neglected; in so many little ways, how much I waste. February also called me toward a new vision, via Isaiah 58.
I've focused in, and yet I've floundered. I've offered myself, then backed away.
Now, the 'flavour' it is taking is in the word "complete."
"Complete"--something I heard years ago, now comes again. It's about doing what it takes to complete that long-term task, but it's also about learning to "complete" my work each day. Funny, no, sad really--I realize, there was a blog post I started writing at the beginning of 2013, outlining the "different me" I wanted to see and be at the end of the year, but that one, is still in "drafts," I didn't complete it. I looked at it again--yes, there has been significant improvement in most things listed...and maybe that it is enough. I somehow thought there were other things to also be part of the goal.
Complete. Today. Living Sacrifice.
I'm convicted when I look at the reality of my life. I have messes all around me--piles of clutter, some is just junk. There are notes from sessions, student materials...not put away properly. There are books. For some, there is place to put them, just haven't done it. For some, it's a matter of taking the time to make the proper place. So many times I do the things that are naturally exciting, that pull me in, yet neglect some of the basic faithfulness. These things I used to see as physical problems, but I'm starting to see them as affecting the spiritual as well, part of the "everything that hinders" (Heb. 12:1) that needs to be thrown off.
Oh, yes, I have improved in some areas--building better rhythms for getting the exercise, doing the cooking and getting the sleep for physical health, and that IS progress. But there are current responsibilities, overdue past ones, and ones looking to the future that must be addressed. And these piles of junk!
I've started. I've been working on it--my daily "completed" list--including both work and personal, things needed for physical, spiritual and emotional renewal. (Yes, that I've learned to measure all of these is also improvement--for a long time I only measured "work" as valuable.)
Overall, in 2013, I've not done as well as I could in following and being faithful to what I felt God was calling me to this year. Time and again I've come, but...can I dig in again now? There are still two months left in this year. Two months.
I'd like to focus in again, in these two months.
I'd like to work on habits of doing and completing the things that matter.
- Daily setting goals for the next day. Doing all I can to complete.
- To learn to love completing, not just starting new things.
- Continuing in areas where I have built better rhythm--exercise, cooking--eating more vegetables.
- Chipping away at the big tasks and the little tasks--at least "completing" a period of time on it, rather than putting it off indefinitely. This includes the personal, i.e. House stuff (de-junking, organization, repairs), and work i.e. filing, planning, web-update.
- Recover focussed morning worship and prayer--the road ahead will need way more diligence, deeper and more rigorous faith. I can bring to God all my emotions, by I cannot let them rule time and tasks. Other distractions, also put aside!
- Spend time working toward the next "big" complete--seeking, building the team of advisors, asking for wisdom, gaining the direction, to set a plan...and I sense that may be the focus in 2014 (but I'll wait until the end of December to finalize).
I'm not going to be able to do this on my own, but I think I know who I can call on to help me flesh this out, not back away, complete.
By the end of 2013 may I be more free of entanglements, more ready, free and focused for making the decisions, and turning to the new tasks and the new direction in 2014 and beyond. And may I be more in swing with the rhythms (personally and with others), that support the completion of the bigger task.
Soli Deo gloria