How are you with New Years Resolutions? Frankly, I don’t do well with them. It may take a day, a week or a month. But, sooner or later, my resolution, however well intended, will fall by the wayside. What’s my problem, you may ask as I certainly ask myself? But let me ask this: Is there really a problem? Or is there another way to fulfill the desire to make change, even to do better next time?
It came early in the morning. The Invitation. Unexpected. Yet welcome.
I realized at 6:00 a.m. that any chance of sleep had vanished, snatched away from me by a busy mind which was already planning my day without any input from me. I made a warm, fresh carafe of hazelnut coffee, lit some red candles and sat in our sunroom. Quite suddenly and surprisingly, a bird began to sing in the breezeway outside our front door. It wasn’t perched prettily in a tree but was sitting on the rail of the stairs, singing it’s little heart out in welcome of a new dawn which was fast on its way.
Hot hazelnut coffee, a comfortable chair, candles and birdsong. My day was already taking on a shape of its own. One of my spiritual practices is that I observe the church calendar readings that are designated for each day of the year. One of today’s Scriptures is found in Proverbs 8:32-35. (NIV).
Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
for those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
In the highlighted Proverbs passage of Scripture, it is clear that the Invitation is to LISTEN, to EMBRACE, to WAIT.
There it was. A divine invitation to meet with my Creator God in the mornings. I saw that for many years, I had come into this Presence with a ‘shopping list” of requests, my orders for how mine and other’s lives should be fashioned. It reminded me of an ornamental Santa Claus that I had seen in a store the other day. Attached to his right hand, was a long, long list of names of people who had, presumably, watched out, been good, not cried, not pouted lest they were struck off the good list and put on the naughty list. I have felt like that with the Lord at times.
I have come to realize that when the Spirit of the Lord invites me to come, it is to meet and be with the One who is called Emmanuel, God With Us. He is waiting with joy for you and me. The I AM, the Ever Changing One, waits to meet with us, the ever changing ones.
As we embrace 2019, a new year, may you and I know and experience all that we need of Grace so that we respond to this beautiful invitation.
Header photo by: Keenan Constance