Every day. I wanted to write a song every day. It lasted well into January… well, January 20, 2015. Then it puttered around the rest of the year and finally fizzled completely before November could even arrive. The year before, I wanted to work out every day. That lasted a good 53 hours or so until life got back in the swing of things in the new year.
Ya feel me or no?
It’s fine if you don’t, just please shrug off that sassy “I’m-better-than-you” smirk because I have essentially failed at 99% of my New Year’s resolutions. I’m laughing at myself, rolling my eyes, and moving on, because what else can you do when you finally come to terms with your lack of consistency in these greatest of intentions? Well, whoops.
If you have been there, are there, or are still holding onto 2017’s best efforts with white-knuckled enthusiasm, I get it and I’m with you. This year holds one simple effort for me personally: one book every two weeks. I think it’s manageable, but who knows, we’ll see what the year can bring.
I have figured out by now that I’m not great at finishing things; ideation, creativity, exploration, and forward-thinking have me moving forward faster than I can keep up with myself. I have to work hard to finish the task I started, and especially hard to finish it well… including everything from closing cabinets, to unloading dishes, to finishing a book (hah), to writing a song. Literally, there was one day that I looked around my house and realized that I had started about twelve different projects and not finished any of them. I’m not sure if it means I have ADD but if you have ADD I understand your pain… (I blame my ENFP… read about us happy, unfocused, yet idealistic golden-retriever-like people here)
Now, enough about me, here is what God has brought to my attention and here is what I hope for on your behalf. It’s THIS verse from Colossians 3:23-24:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
No need to go into the original Greek language, or to check all the other commentaries, or to understand that “in context we are talking about slaves and earthly masters here and this would have meant blah blah blah in this culture.”
Let me tell you, all of that is enlightening and beautiful and God’s Spirit can show us some of the most wonderful things as we meditate on this verse. But sometimes we overthink some very simple things and it instead can look more like us breaking down sentence structure in a grammar lesson than living out our lives in love-relationship with Jesus.
So. W H A T E V E R you do .
work at it with A L LY O U RH E A R T .
…because it’s the L O R DC H R I S T you are serving .
because it’s all about Him.
If you have a job, even if you don’t like it, do it heartily. It’s not for your boss, it’s for Jesus. Does that shift some things for you? (um it does for meeee)
If you have a family, even when you are tired of them sometimes, love them heartily. It’s for Jesus.
If you are a student, even if the class is terrible and you can’t stand your professor, do it whole-heartedly. Do the paper like you can’t wait to turn it in to Jesus for Him to read. He is already proud of you and how hard you work.
If you are single, live into it full-heartedly, even when the days and nights feel lonely and you wonder if this season will end. You’re not living for someone else, because they will eventually fail you. You have a full life in Jesus.
If you are grieving, mourn fully. The Church might not know what to do with your sadness, but Jesus does. He is known in Isaiah as the Suffering Servant, and He suffers with you and meets you in your heartache.
If you are creative in any capacity, engage in it and work at it; refine your craft to be the best it can be. It’s not for your glory you’re doing this—it’s for Jesus’! He loves to see you be creative—He was the One who formed it all from the beginning (read John 1:1-14ish).
If you have dreams that you sense God calling you to step into for 2017, freaking DO IT. STEP. IT’S TIME. Get with Him, talk about it, dream it, then STEP. This is faith in action and faith without works is dead (see James 2ish).
If you follow Jesus, then do that completely and whole-heartedly. There is no life worth living other than the full life that He offers. If you’re doing stuff for people, it will fail. But if you’re living for Him, you’re actually living in Him, and that’s the best place to be.
My prayer for you (and for me) is that 2017 will be a shift in perspective rather than another resolution that will falter under the faultiness of your humanity.
Take this verse, write it down, put it on your mirror, on your phone, wherever, and join me in welcoming 2017 as a year of breakthrough and whole-hearted pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
NEW YEAR, NEW YEW. LET'S GO.