Reignite

Here we are at the end of the year, and no doubt reflecting on this past year, while simultaneously pondering the incoming new chapter in the book of life that’s about to unfold.

When I was younger, I would set aside a ‘things to do’ sort of list of New Year’s resolutions and loved checking off items as they were accomplished. I would also bemoan the lack of time or fortitude to get all things done on that darned list during the ensuing year. No doubt I was good at accomplishing much of my list  and thought this project to be important at the time. Much of the items on my list were ongoing things I needed to work on. Things like be kinder, more compassionate, more patient, and of course a healthier amount of sleep (which is just a young mother’s fantasy).

Over time I’ve come to realize that having such a list of things to accomplish or of resolutions were noteworthy for sure, but in the big scheme of things they held little importance or significance compared to having just one ongoing resolution that trumped them all.  Instead, all these noteworthy attributes that I longed to consistently acquire would fall into place better by just focusing on this one resolution.

For several years now this long list has been simplified to a single New Year’s resolution as being my year long and ongoing focus. This resolution now remains the same and is the constant carrot I put out there in front of my to do list to focus on year after year.  The results have been way more fulfilling, joyful, and yet diligent as my list. Only one. Since making this transition, who I am intended to be has been reignited.

Here’s my thought process on all of this….

None of us are trying to set up our own kingdom here on earth (or are we?).  Instead, we are trying to populate the Kingdom of Heaven as our primary life purpose.  In other words, who will we each greet in heaven someday because of anything we said or didn’t say, did or did not do, or prayed about on their behalf and to the glory of God?

We are each called to bring people into the Kingdom of God so they can be with him for eternity.  There really is no single better New Year’s Resolution than this.

This begs the question: How do we best glorify God?

He is glorified when we love and honor him with all our heart, soul, tongue, feet, arms, legs, ears, and of course eyes (you get the picture).  

God is glorified when we love other people in the family of God, especially when this becomes difficult or challenging.

He is glorified when we love those who are unlovable.

God is also glorified when we share Christ’s light with everyone we encounter.

God is further glorified when we trust and give to him, the problems in our lives that we cannot control or solve.

He is glorified when we know and trust that the end is inevitable and that He wins when life here on earth is all said and done.

Funny thing is, those important attributes of increased and more constant kindness, compassion, and patience will fall into place naturally as we look to glorify Christ rather than ourselves.

The prayer below is especially good to contemplate as we each enter the next chapter in the book of life called 2023.  I first heard it many years ago on a local Christian radio station.  It was written by Stephen Chandler….May 2023 be the year we each reignite the simplicity of having one single resolution:

“Lord Undo Me” 
I don’t really worship these days
I don’t really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions
or with anything
I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion
But it is all just illusion
I am really
Lonely
Lost
Calloused
Jaded
Cynical
Too religious
Too realistic
and well really just too lazy
to worship you anymore
I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory

Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet
To come face to face with your
Perfection,
Radiance,
Goodness,
Holiness,
Awesomeness
I want to stand before you and see you for who you are
and me for who I am
I want to be undone

I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way
You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to
Love me
Care for me
See me
Speak to me
Want me
Communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me

Lord, I want to stand in that place where all I can see is your glory
And my sin
Because in that place I can’t help but worship you.
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don’t,
I’m scared I don’t know if I can handle this
don’t
But I can’t live this way anymore
I can’t stand here in this half-life
this going through the motions of life
this not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must
Cut out the tumor on my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
let me worship you again