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Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing Out Loud: New Year's Day

A New Year! A New Decade! What will this next decade bring? Remember when Y2K was all the rage and now it’s H1N1? I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. I care about the future but it just so happens I’m alive right now. I did mention to God that I plan to wear His ears out this year. The only way for me to live now is “when you know better you do better.” For the past two years however, I’ve taken a different approach to bringing in the New Year. Traditionally I’ve attended “Watch Night” services at church for as long as I remember. It’s become increasingly important I veer away from “religion” and focus on “relationship.” I spent the final moments of 2009 reflecting on my BFF’s. I plan to start incorporating more of my own traditions in my relationship with God. I will continue reading the Word and asking God to give me understanding. It’s crucial I know and understand what He says before I listen to anybody else. In these last days those who wish to deceive, coerce, manipulate, and water down God’s truth are plentiful. I need to stay sober and alert. In a few hours this first day of the New Year day will be over. I don’t feel differently, I didn’t eat black-eyed peas. Only minutes ago did I even take a shower because….it’s just Friday! What if on this Friday God’s grace and mercy were different? I fully intend to make as many mistakes as I did last year if not more. I say that right upfront so that you won’t be surprised if you hear “yeah that’s her!” There’s truly something sobering about God’s grace and mercy. Every single day whether I choose to thank Him or not they’ll show up. So with 2010 in full swing, I can rest knowing that no matter what I do whether by commission or omission, I have obtained gifts I never asked for or fully understood why they were needed. Grace and mercy make me think of comfort food, I know it’s in the kitchen even if I’m sitting on the couch. I wonder what it would feel like to wake up tomorrow and grace and mercy are noticeably absent? Instantly I’d be able to tell the difference because I’ve never known what it was like to be without it. As always I have my journals to look back on. I tried to look for answers from God through my entries but regardless of the answers, regardless of the questions, I have grace and mercy. That has to be enough. God told me I wouldn’t know what to expect in January, so I’m expecting. He told me what I prayed against in years past, I need to pray for now. Instead of asking Him to “give me”, I will ask Him to “make me”. The most important lesson I learned this year was not to depend on any authority but God’s. I’m glad to bring this revelation into 2010. I was thinking this afternoon about warm and inviting places. Generally people will think of the place where they worship or home. Funny, I thought of neither instead I thought of a Laundromat. You may think this sounds peculiar but God revealed to me that when we do our laundry we never pay attention to anybody else’s laundry. After a polite exchange, we tend to keep our heads down concentrating on our own stains. Think about that for a moment, the Laundromat is perhaps the only place where our individual DIRT is never questioned or ridiculed. We readily accept we have it and go about finding exact change for the machines. We just want the stains out am I right? Well Boys and Girls that’s exactly what grace and mercy will do, help fight the stains you make every day. You needn’t worry about asking for exact change. Grace and mercy will be enough for the stains you get in 2010. Happy New Year!