So there’s all this talk about the new year. Hopes, dreams, goals. Things we want to happen and will absolutely, no doubt about it, work towards and plan for and write down on the lists that won’t last more than two weeks.
It happens every year. I’ve played the game for much too long and failed much too often, which really was every year by January 17 (if I even got that far). I lost 0 pounds, didn’t make it even a week without complaining, and was down for the count by February with all my one-year Bible reading plans. Exodus is hard, man.
I hopped on the One Word train and don’t regret it one bit. Beloved, Believe, and now Watch. It’s not even 2015 quite yet, but already God has been using this word over my life since I shared the story behind it.
Last night I was restless, up late thinking about all that this week holds. The calendar is turning and with it, much in my life is changing as well. Long-time commitments are coming to an end and new responsibilities take their place. Deadlines are looming but even the projects themselves hold promise of something new and fresh.
Sometimes we lay down what is good for what is great. It doesn’t make saying “no” easy, but it makes saying “yes” to the best possible.
Some time around 2am I rolled over and dug around my nightstand for a piece of paper and a pen. In the midst of the noise of a busy schedule and a lot of change, I felt God whisper four words to me to hold onto.
Right Here New Year.
Not a year filled with plans or what-ifs. Not 365 days of wondering and worrying over what may or may not happen. Not a year of stressing and strategizing and scheduling.
365 days of living right here, in the moment, present. A right here new year, a year spent living in the moment I’m in.
We are not promised tomorrow and I don’t want to waste my time worrying about a day that may not come.
Don’t be fooled, living in the present comes at a cost. I just think it’s one worth paying. Loving much and loving well requires vulnerability. Giving to those around you may mean sacrificing for yourself. Choosing to honor a friend who needs you to be there, when your to-do list is pages deep, might mean staying up a bit later to finish that project.
But by choosing to spend your new year right here – wherever your ‘here’ is – you’re actually choosing to love to the fullest. Instead of being semi-present, you’re able to fully listen, fully love, fully enjoy, fully be.
Will you join me for a Right Here New Year? A year of choosing to be fully right where you are? You might have to give up a thing or two, shuffle things around inside and in your planner so that you can be present for each day. I’d like to invite you to pray these words with me as we begin a new year, full of hopes and dreams and sure, even some goals – all while keeping in mind that He has simply given us this day, today, and I for one don’t want to waste it living in a not-yet tomorrow.
Dear God, thank You for new days and the gift of change. Thank You even more for the promise that Your ways will remain the same. Even when You’re up to something new, You’re still You.
Lord, I ask that You help me let go of my fears and worries. It’s so easy to jump ahead in my mind to a day that hasn’t even come yet. Remind me that the present day is a present from You. Help me not to miss it. Show me how to unwrap it every morning.
Teach me to trust that You can handle the future without my excessive planning. When I place my worries in Your capable hands, gently take my hand and lead me. Lord, I want to choose to walk with You instead of talk at You. I’m tired and weary of giving You my worries and then taking them back upon myself. I commit this year, this day right here, to Your plans and Your desires.
Jesus, when others talk about tomorrow and ask questions that I don’t have answers to, remind me that You did not come for me to be busy but for me to be still.
And when I run ahead into tomorrow, I’m asking You now to come for me, to walk me home, back to the place You have called me to dwell in. May I delight in You, Lord Jesus, and not an item crossed off a list.
May I remember to dream big and stay small. May I always find my place at your feet and not in rung climbing or stats or followers. There is only One worth following and it’s You.
Holy Spirit, work within me today as I offer my very best to the people around me. When the time is right, I trust that You will move me to a new place or give me a new dream. But until that happens, help me love to the fullest and happily give of myself to this place, these people, today.
Today is yours, Lord, and tomorrow too. But I’ll choose today to stay right here, because you’ve walked with me each day until now and you’ve got the future covered. I’d rather choose today instead of a possible tomorrow. Lord, You’re right here and so here is where I choose to be, too.