Monday, January 10, 2011

Taking a Moment

Ten days into a new year and I have done something I cannot recall doing for a good long while now (if at all): I took a look at the goals I set for 2011 to see how I was progressing.  A rudimentary thing to do, as many people may very well say, but sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake.

Part of the reason for the change, I think, is I'm starting to grasp the fact little changes made over a long period of time start to add up to new habits, a cleaner house, and a life where there is necessary change and growth.  Like I said, rudimentary to perhaps many people out there.  (Hey, maybe some wisdom is finally starting to come with age!  Whoot!)

Another contributing factor is the realization I really cannot change my past.  Oh, I've tried.   Or at least I've spent a lot of time dwelling on my past sins and failures and missed opportunities.  Yet all the "What ifs" and "If onlys" have not produced any positive, lasting changes.  Nor has it led to my suddenly being 'caught up' to where I think I should be or where I wanted to be, or maybe even where I really should have been after 39 years of life, 16 years of marriage and the like. 

In the Bible -- Jeremiah 29: 11-14a specifically -- God talks about thinking good thoughts toward us to give us a future and  hope.  And He doesn't say such thoughts of goodness and hope run out once we've become Christians.  See, that is a misconception I've had -- that somehow I can 'overtax' God's grace once I became His kid.  That once I say "Yes" to Jesus, my margin for error in the things I do and say (and don't do and say) becomes much, much smaller.  It's easy to read verses like James 1:4 and think "Oh crap!  I must be doing something wrong because I'm no closer to perfection than I was before becoming a Christian."

Then I read this:
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,  as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue . . ."  ~2 Peter 1:2-3 (NKJ)

And this:
"For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body." ~James 3:2 (NKJ)

And also this:
"I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; I have no good beside or beyond You." ~Psalm 16:2 (Amplified)

God isn't asking me to change the things that need changing in this life all on my own.  I have a part I need to play, but it's not the only part involved in bringing change about.

(Because ending it any other way felt clich├ęd.)

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