Monday, December 31, 2012

The Secret Life

What is it about a new year that brings so much hope?  I think its the desire for a clean slate, a fresh start, a second chance to live life right.  We have such confidence that this time around we will succeed.  We purpose to change. 

Yet in that determination we are encased in this skin of self.  Try as we might we can't by ourselves get out of it.  No matter how good our intentions, so often we meet failure.  Oh, some of you are strong, so very strong.  You set goals, you fight hard, and you even succeed, for a time at least.  But success deceives us because pride so easily creeps in.  We glory in our self-sufficiency, thinking we have arrived.
By contrast, my failure drives me to my knees where I cry out to God for His power to be perfected in my weaknesses.  But if all I do is pray and never kick into obedient action, then I am not really joining with God in surrender to my call for help.  As much as I want freedom from the ugly of who I am, God's removal of my selfishness, pride, and me-ism still hurts because I cling to it so tightly.  All our efforts must be kept in balance with God's enabling.

I just finished watching "Voyage of the Dawn Treader", one of my favorite movies.  There a boy is turned into a literal dragon until he learns to think beyond himself.  Try as he might, Eustace cannot tear off the dragon skin entrapping him.  Only Aslan, the Lion, representative of Christ, can remove the dragon's skin and make him a boy again. 

As I think about New Year's resolutions I'm reminded that tomorrow will not be much different than today.  The same habits, same struggles, same person . . . unless I do battle privately and truly desire freedom from these things.  The clock ticks from 2012 to 2013 in one second.  One segment of time, once future, now past. 

When keeping time in music three things can be done with it.  You can play the right note, play the wrong note, or do nothing.  But that moment of time is gone and the music continues.  What's done has been done. 

Likewise, towards the end of the movie mentioned above, Prince Caspian makes the decision to stay in his own world rather than go on to Aslan's land.  His reason?  He stopped thinking about what was taken and focused on what was given.  He knew that he still had a purpose to fulfill in his world.  The glitch in his past was done and he must move on with the music.  

As we enter a new year, I'm reminded that God has a purpose for our lives in this time in history.  That purpose is not yet complete as evidenced by the fact that we are still here.  However, it is so easy to get distracted from that purpose.  I can quickly revert to self glorification if not by my successes, then by my losses. 

This year I want to simply obey God in what I know He asks of me.  I don't need a new revelation.  What I need is power and strength to obey what I already know.  My motto is, 'No excuses, no exceptions, and no telling.'  I want to exalt Jesus, lifting Him high in my life.

Yes, I have made some resolutions of sorts, but I'm not going to reveal them here because as soon as I tell someone about them, then I yield.  No, it is a secret battle, wrestled and won during my time alone with God.  Once I've surrendered to obedience in the secret place, then the outworking of it is not so difficult.  I'm hoping to first walk the walk, then I can talk.

And so in the words of Reepicheep, that courageous mouse, "Let's get on with it then!"  

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