It’s 2013! A new year, a new beginning, a fresh new start to vault into higher purposes looking at life with Heaven’s perspective, doing humble duties with a positive attitude and with noble motivations in mind...
It’s January 1 (as of writing) and I am sitting in a mall with an over-sweetened iced drink, my notebook and pen in hand while watching people go by. It’s one of my favorite past time-- people-watching and thinking. That is, if my face is not buried within the pages of a book or I am not desperately digging around for books in a bookstore, which I just did minutes before coming to sit down in this café.
I see a group of pretty young girls, looking sweet and nice, obviously enjoying the company of friends. There are families, with moms and dads and a child or two, and grandparents occasionally in tow, too. There are couples hand in hand, a group of young adults looking so smart, some teenage boys with modern Bieber haircuts, and a group of grown men taking pictures with a mannequin at the shop window. Everyone is preoccupied with each of their own activity.
While I sip my iced drink, watching them and trying to think at the same time about the new year I will be facing, I wonder how many of these people have taken stock of the previous year and themselves and their lives and where they are going… doing something like a heart check. How many of them have made resolutions? Have prayed? How many have asked questions like I am doing now? ‘Cause if they haven’t, then I’m probably way over there when it comes to being normal.
Normal or not, or as young people would say ‘whatever’, I am asking questions and I invite you to ask yourselves along with me. (Be not so normal for once.)
Have I maximized ME (as God has created me)? Lived my life and not other people’s?
Am I ready to get over past hurts and forgive? Forgive even myself?
Do I see God in my heart? Know Him? Love Him? Live Him? Is my heart in tune with His?
Have I loved the people God has given me to love like no other can? Have I loved my husband like no one else can? Loved my children like only their mother can?
Did I laugh this year? Danced ballet with my girls or the ‘Gangnam Style’ with my son?
Did I allow God to create windows and doors so my dreams could take flight?
If you or I have answered ‘no’ to most of the questions, then it’s time to let God into your heart, listen and obey. It’s never too late. Know what is good for your heart… and do it, with God's blessings.
- Know yourself as God knows you, His child, precious and loved. And live the life He has in mind for you. “How precious… are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17).
- Forgive. It frees us to grow.
- Know God. How? As Jennie Allen’s professor said in her book Anything, “The only exercise that works 100 percent of the time to draw one close to the real God is risk… To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then watch him come through. He starts to get real when you live like that.” Living in faith is an exercise that is good for the heart, making it tremble, yet unshaken, vulnerable, yet stronger.
- Love. Only God's love can fill my heart and my every need. And only His love can expose my good girl pretensions and bring me to my knees, my face... and find healing and hope. His love is so huge that, if you allow Him to love you, it will overflow from your heart to family, friends, neighbors and strangers.
- Laugh. Laughing is showing kindness to your heart, keeping it from getting brittle and bitter.
Now and then, check your heart. There may be unnecessary debris cluttering its spaces making it hard for you to be giving and loving, and consuming your energy that could have been spent in more fulfilling activities. Remember, Proverbs 4:23 says: “Keep your heart with diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
May you enjoy a heart filled with love, joy and… Christ. Happy New Year!