Every year it happens. When the calendar flips from December to January we focus on change and what we want to be different in the coming year. A fresh calendar feels for many of us like a fresh start.
Yet, it doesn’t take long for reality to catch up. We want things to magically be different. Our desire is for new results, but making changes is difficult. Even though the calendar has a new number at the top, our to-do list is the same and our circumstances don’t change. Last year does not disappear.
What I want for the New Year comes from a reflection I made around Christmas and I wanted to take a moment to share it with you. It comes from the story of Jesus’ birth found in Luke 2.
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” – Luke 2:15
God communicated with the shepherds. It was night. Probably not a super convenient time since sheep need constant protection and supervision. Yet when the heavenly revelation was over, the shepherds first response was to go and see.
They made space in their lives for the voice of God.
How many of us would have looked at the clock and said “I’ve got to get up early” or the TV and said “I’m in the middle of a show” or the to-do list and said “I’ve got more things to get done before I can do anything else.”?
We all, I think, want to hear more of God’s voice in our lives. But do we have the space for it?
Our focus is on doing and accomplishment and being noticed. Making space means rejecting much of what the world systems tell you what your value is.
We all, I think, want to have a clear calling from God. But do we have the space to respond to it?
Our focus is on the plans that we make. Making space may mean inconvenience and leaving undone things that have a reward that feels more tangible.
We all, I think, want to have a sense of the closeness of God. But do we have the space to intentionally lean in to the divine embrace?
Our focus is on having our needs met. Making space requires denying our selves and surrendering to the God who created us.
In this new year, my prayer for you and me is that we would be like the shepherds and make space. That we would not judge our lives and work by human standards and would be open to responding to what God is trying to do in and with our lives.
My new book Essential Questions: Learning to Follow Jesus by Examining What He Asked is due out in October 2019.
I am an author, discipleship coach, and speaker who helps followers of Jesus gain perspective on their identities so they can experience transformation in their decisions, behaviors and relationships and live in freedom. My book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2bjMRyx) or Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/2c0q62I). Visit TreeofLies.com for free resources.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.