A new determination faithfully arrives every year, sometime between Christmas and January 1. Just when the clutter starts to get to me and the chaotic schedule grinds on my nerves.
I’ve got a system and prefer to do it alone: pitching, rearranging, and packing away. The physical work feels good after too many family movies and long meals. The solitude feels even better.
But this year, my work became symbolic of a bigger mess…
I lugged around old boxes and the same old crap every year.
I shoved worn-out furniture and that same extra fifteen pounds.
I rearranged sad knickknacks and the same anxieties that steal my joy every year.
I packed away our family Christmas and the same expired hope of it ever making a difference.
I began to panic at the thought of ringing in the new year with the same old bell. And whenever I feel things are out of control, I turn to my expertise in planning.
This year, I’m going to clean out one closet every month.
This year, I’m going to exercise every day.
I’m going to journal my emotions and get to the root of my issues.
I’m going to spend regular, quality time with every member of my family.
The familiar plans hung in the air and taunted me. I’ve promised all of this before: the organization, weight-loss, personal growth.… So many times.
Every year, I grab my same, limited resources and expect things to be different.
Maybe it’s time to reach for something more…
The symbolic ritual continued, but instead of more shoving and rearranging, I dug into long-ignored drawers and dusted forgotten shelves. I got down on hands and knees and stood on chairs, reaching underneath and above what I’ve done in forever.
I traded my grumbling and scheming for silence and one chore at a time.
And by the end of the day, I had three new things: a clean house, a different kind of tired, and no specific plans.
Climbing into bed that night, the mild complaint of my muscles made me feel alive. Today certainly was all about reaching. And it truly made a difference.
Maybe this year, I’ll reach past my normal and see what God can do with an open mind.
Maybe this year, I’ll reach across my limited resources to see what God can do with empty hands and a humble heart.
I’ll reach beyond holidays and special occasions to see how an everyday God can transform a family full of sinners.
I’ll reach around my idol of control to see what God does when He’s the only One.
At the end of all the reaching, God promises only three things: Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This year I’m going to reach without knowing if He’ll bring happiness, progress, or even order. I’ll reach for the certainty that Three in One is enough.
I’ll reach because He reached first.
What about you? Are you feeling a bit of panic over hollow resolutions and weighty plans? Are you ready for more but know you don’t have what it takes?
Reach with me.
In quiet humility, let’s reach past ourselves for more. Let’s reach, one day at a time, for the boundaries of the gospel…
…we just might find out how big it really is.
He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5