I love to look forward to a new year.
I’m the first one to appreciate new beginnings.
But as the clock roles past December 31 and into January 1, I am still the same me.
The focus might be different. The priorities might get rearranged. The dreams might be adjusted, but I am still the same me.
I know to you this may seem a pessimistic view for all of you choosing your word for the year, setting resolutions, and dreaming of all that the year will bring. Honestly, if you’ve ever met me, I really am one of the most optimistic people I know – which is exactly why I am totally ok with still being the same me.
If I measured my life based on to do lists or determined success by accomplishment, I would have failed long ago. Truthfully, I am tempted to do such things. Checking things off is my jam. Accomplishing objectives is my happy place.
Yet in all my years of living, I have come to realize a few key points that have allowed me the freedom to still be okay with me, while still having a hope and a future of God-sized things. This is what I’ve learned:
- God has a history of using ordinary people for amazing things – I am ordinary. I don’t have any special powers or vast wisdom, but I do have the only living God abiding with me. He’s the same One who helped Moses part the waters, went in to the lion’s den with Daniel, gave Deborah wisdom to be a judge, led Nehemiah to build a wall, broke the chains from Paul and Silas, and made the disciples of Christ talk in languages they never knew. All regular, ordinary folks that God used in the most amazing ways.
- The impact of the extraordinary events were many times not even understood or known by those ordinary people – think about it. Were Daniel and Deborah tracking their stories would be told through history? The disciples just wanted to tell people about Jesus. They had no idea the story would be retold for 2000 years. Paul and Silas? It was one moment in the middle of the night. They had no inkling. Which tells me that God can take my ordinary life and use it for things far down the road about which I have no clue either.
- He doesn’t call me to extraordinary. He calls me to obedience – As much as I think I’d love for God to call me to big things that make huge waves for the Kingdom around the world, he actually only asks of me simple obedience today. He wants me to seek him out, trust his direction, and follow courageously wherever he leads. That’s it. He takes care of the rest.
So as you ponder this new year and all that God can do, I pray that you will rest today. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dream, choose a word, try something new, rearrange our priorities, refocus our efforts, or make some resolutions. What it does mean is the most important thing in all of it is our relationship with Jesus.
We simply follow in obedience.
It’s a new year, but the same me.
The one he called. The one he loves. The one he’ll use in ways I could never imagine today.
It’s going to be good.
What is the Lord asking of you in the new year or maybe just in today?