2011 is firmly buried in the past now. Except of course for Taxes and those first of the year bank checks we’ve written that still say 2011… The life echos of our past year are slowly fading as we face the inherent demands of jumping into a new 2012.
Seems that life comes back at us FAST.
Work has resumed it’s full speed – frenzy along with the unavoidable commitments of family. You may find yourself immersed again in the regular and mundane cycle of just keeping up. Cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, church and school starts to make us feel like our life is only to be survived, not enjoyed. Days seem like one enormous effort after another to make the next deadline… It may even appear to others that all you do is rush from one spot to another, picking up, dropping off , picking up and then repeating over and over until you’ve crisscrossed your community with forgetful but essential errands to nowhere.
Parents, teachers and co-workers may no longer be their previous “chipper” selves. The longest vacation for most of us, has now receded to a vague, warm memory and the next real break to look forward to…is months away. Spirits are no longer “elevated” by the joy of Christmas or the jubilation of a New Year. No… January is the month of sniffles and colds, flu and funk… paired ominously with a grey and overcast weather pattern that we all know will last until Easter.
The dread may now be starting to revisit us as we all begin to notice the steady arrival of dozens of unpaid bills that have mysteriously unified into a leaning tower of pulp paper and mass postage marks, mushed back into the deepest crevice of your countertops. You still carefully avoid any eye contact when you walk by them, hopeful that if you ignore them…they will go away.
Bummer. January can often just feel like a downer, in lots of ways.
One possible option I would encourage you to consider… how about taking a weekend to “RESET and REWIND”? In the bible there are obscure passages in the old testament that mention this idea off and on. Even if we ignore the regular feasts and celebrations or the seventh day of rest… there are “other” suggestions in scripture that encourage this idea and I think January is a great month to remind myself and you.
“Ebenezer– Stone of help, the place where Samuel erected a monument, in grateful remembrance of the divine help, given in answer to prayer, in a great battle with the Philistines. The same place had before witnessed the defeat of Israel and the capture of the ark, 1 Samuel 4:1; 5:1; 7:5-12 – (source – ATS Bible Dictionary) Some theologians consider “Ebenezer” to represent a sacred process of reflection and remembrance – “a hitherto has God led us” kind of moment.
It would seem that even King David, one my favorite champions of faith in the bible, needed to take a moment to reflect, to pause and consider… David wrote “SELAH” (Hebrew word) seventy-one times in thirty-nine of the Psalms and is thought to indicate a pause for reflection similar to the word Amen.
A time to review all of God’s goodness and blessings to you in the year just past, is just the sort of thing to refresh your heart and mind in the present. I promise you…if you take the time to reflect, you will receive a great boost to your outlook and perspective for 2012. I’m taking a few days to visit the mountains again this January. A time to refresh my mind, body and spirit in the presence of God’s glory of creation and a few days to clear my head enough to get still. This will be my eighth year in a row to do so and I’ve learned that I am “lost” if I fail to do so.
It’s not an option for us to refresh ourselves in the Lord, and it’s imperative as father’s in particular, that we make the specific effort to ask God for direction, wisdom and perspective for ourselves, our families and the lives we lead in the upcoming year. If we don’t, we’re risking a lot. We’re assuming we can figure all our stuff out by ourselves. Blindly presuming to just logically sort out our kids problems, re-energize our marriages and contribute to our communities of faith with the fumes of last years ideas, enlightenment and reserves… right.
I don’t know about you, but I’m done living like that. I’m ready to be refilled and refreshed and I’m no longer delusional enough to think that I’ve got the inner strength to just “carry on”. I can’t imagine lifting the load of life that God has given me for 2012 all on my own. Not anymore.
Peace out RTP readers!
And if your out and about roadtripping this January… I might even see you in the Canadian Rockies… that’s where my Reset and Rewind will be for 2012… where will yours be ?