2013-01: Contemplations and Commitments
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I inevitably contemplate many things as a new year commences. I consider the year past,  undertaking somewhat of an inventory of what’s occurred, what has and what hasn’t been achieved. I think about the year ahead - what it may contain, what I would like to achieve, what I hope to see. There have been times when the close of one year can’t seem to come soon enough because the trials and hardships of that year have been many and exhausting, and there is a hope that the new year will bring a change of conditions. There are times when the advent of a new year may bring some anxiety, possible grief and major changes which may not be favourably anticipated. Irrespective, I endeavour to spend at least some time on the first day of January handing over to the Lord the things past, the things present and the things to come, asking Him to fill my mind and heart with His vision and mission for the year ahead.  

This new year as I spent time with my Heavenly Father, I was drawn to Scriptures and quotes which informed and shaped my prayers and which then led me in how I committed 2013 to the One Who knows it all.  Let me share a few of them:

"I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened..." Prov. 24:32 (The Message)

"To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe." -- Marilyn Vos Savant

"Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”" Prov. 4:6-9 (The Message) 

"Let God take the initiative. If you will wait, God will work! Cease from your trying; start to trust and praise Him for what He is going to do." -- Robert D. Foste 

These words, filled with such wisdom and peace, have reinforced a few key concepts to me as I commenced this year.

  1. It is important to get quiet, to reflect upon, to observe and to celebrate (be thankful for) both the pleasant and the not-so-pleasant aspects of the past, realising that though situations and people are not constant, our Heavenly Father is!
  2. We can easily underestimate the power of quietness in God’s creation, and the im-portance of listening. How invaluable is taking that time as the Lord uses these to nurture and speak to our souls and to direct our paths ahead!
  3. The temptation to roll from one year into another without mindfulness can be great, as can be the temptation to fall into a self-sufficient striving where the help and wisdom of God’s intervention and support are not sought, only to find at some point as we flip our calendar’s pages, that we are exhausted, confused and quest-ioning the meaning and fruitfulness of our labour.
  4. Whilst many may make New Year’s Resolutions the best thing I can do is to “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”. (Corrie Ten Boom)

At the beginning of 2013, and indeed throughout the entire year, I pray that we all would, “Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near...’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:6, 8-9

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