I've fallen woefully behind in posting on this blog, but my New Year's resolution is to do better! Looking back, I've managed to average almost once a week - that's not too bad. We had another string of illness during the first two weeks of December, so I was extra busy trying to catch up. I did learn one thing - don't put things off. I got on a little kick to get most of my Christmas stuff done - finish the shopping, wrapping, etc. I had a couple people tell me that I had plenty of time. After the stomach flu hitting my son and then me one week, and the same son getting strep throat and a sinus infection the next week, I was very glad that I didn't listen to those people! lol
So, as the New Year rolls in, are you sitting with your pad of paper and pen (or maybe your Blackberry) to write down all your resolutions for the new year, a new decade? One thing I really want to do more of this year is share Christ with others. Recently, after praying for her for several years, my neighbor came to church on Christmas Sunday. She really seems to want to get involved and keep coming. Embarrassingly, my first thought when she told me (keep in mind I have prayed for her off and on for 3 years!) was, wow, this is a bad week for that - I'm so busy. Yes, you read that right - I'm too busy. Of course, immediately the Holy Spirit whapped me upside the head. It's so easy for me to allow that "wilderness of daily cares" to sweep aside my eternal perspective.
And really, being obedient to those small nudges by the Holy Spirit, even when it is "inconvenient" or not on my to-do list is what God asks us to do. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow, the next Billy Graham. God tells us that if we must be faithful in the small things. That means, taking time to call my neighbor to see how she is doing; meeting her in the church lobby so she doesn't feel overwhelmed and lost; taking her to Bible study with me - even when I don't feel like dealing with it.
I was listening to Focus on the Family today, and there was a woman on there speaking named Esther. (didn't catch her last name) She was sharing stories about how she splashed God's grace on people as she went along in her life. It wasn't some specific time she set apart to evangelize. It was a way of life. I think sometimes, I think I must put it on my to-do list or assign a day - Wednesdays I will evangelize. Or I feel like I need notches on my spiritual belt - I have led x amount of people to God. In reality, I just need to have eyes to see those around me. When I am in the grocery store line or in the doctor's waiting room -those are the fields that are ripe for harvest. I also need to realize that it might not be MY job to lead someone to God. I might just be the person who points them in the right direction on the road they are following that leads to Christ. Sometimes we plant a seed; sometimes we water the seed; and sometimes we are blessed to see that seed bloom. All of those things are important. A seed doesn't grow if it is still in the package and a plant can't get by without water.
Last year, my focus was learning to live victoriously in Christ. I'm not 100% there yet, but God HAS changed me. I can see and I can feel it. I pray He continues to make me "free indeed." I pray He will continue to reveal in me the areas I need to guard in my life - my fault lines or weak spots. But also this year, I want to share that victory with others. I want to be ready with an answer when people ask me what is different about me as Peter says; I want to be aware of opportunities and not let fear or apathy or business prevent me from obeying the Holy Spirit when He points them out to me. It is my hope and prayer that next year, when I look back at 2010, I will be able to see the seeds I've planted and watered.
~ Blessings and Happy New Year!