A place for random thoughts from the life of a follower of Jesus.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Has it really been that long?!? I just checked and realized my last post was on December 12. That was three weeks ago! Not that there are too many of you waiting with bated breath to see what witticisms and such I might post here. I'm sorry to disappoint, but I'm not that witty. Of course, that's no surprise to those who know me!
Christmas is over and done with, unless you are Orthodox, which means your celebration is coming shortly. It doesn't matter the date. What matters is the attitude of your heart. The external celebrations are nice, but sometimes they only detract from the reality of Christmas. In fact, as my nephew Jeff said so well, these things serve (or should, at least) to remind of the real reason for and significance of Christmas. In case you don't know, the real reason for Christmas is presents. One present, to be exact. That present was and is Jesus, the Son of God, who came as a human being to bring the message of God's love to the world, and ultimately, to die and rise again for the sins of the world. There's no way you can celebrate and realize all the significance of that one great Gift in just one day, or even a whole season, of celebration. The reality of Christmas should be foremost in the thoughts and attitudes and lives of all Christians all year long! Too few people live that way. The reality of Jesus is relegated to one day or even a few weeks of Christmas. The rest of the year, life goes on as usual, with God being pushed off to the side.
We all struggle with finding time, with putting God and His demands on our lives in the proper place and perspective. Sometimes life gets busy and other concerns push in and take over, demanding all of our time and attention. How do we maintain a balance? How do we find time for a personal time with God, a time for prayer and reading the Bible? It comes down to making time. Yes, we are all busy and have so many things to do. But don't we find the time for those things we really want to do? We stay up later to work on a project or report because we wanted to spend time visiting with friends or family in the evening. We get up early to get in a little exercise time before we get ready for work. We eat lunch at our desks because we are facing a deadline and need to squeeze in extra time to get it done. My point? We always find the time for what is really important to us. Sometimes we decide that something really important is not so important when something comes along that we'd like to do more. So, how do we make time for God and the Bible? A specific time each day can be helpful. From what I remember reading, you have to do something 21 times before it becomes a habit. So, pick a time that will work for you (Be honest with yourself - if you're not a morning person, don't determine to get up at 4:30 in the morning, because in all likelihood, you won't stick with it) and do it for at least three weeks. Hopefully by that time it will have become a habit. Besides that, living as a Christian is about living in the moment with God. Be conscious of what God might be saying to you at all times. Offer short prayers of thanks and/or petitions throughout your day. Developing this God-consciousness can only help us grow as Christians.
Does this mean that I have it all worked out, that I'm faithful in prayer and Bible-reading all the time? No, no, NO! But I hope that this can be a time of new beginnings for each of us as we begin this new year.
Have you made your New Year's Resolutions? I'd be happy to hear from you!
P. S. A quick update on one book: In a previous post I mentioned Anne Rice's Christ the Lord. I had not read it at that point. I've just finished reading it, and recommend it highly. Take time to read the Author's Note at the end of the book. In approximately 20 pages, Anne traces her spiritual journey and the research she has put into the book. It's very informative and encouraging reading!


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