Happy New Year! The adventure of 2010 has morphed into the hope of 2011. That means that it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. A new chance to start over. To begin again. To start things afresh. For some of us, our resolution might be to exercise more, watch TV less, spend more time with family, eat organic food, stop smoking, etc. There are many good things that are worth resolving to do. And a new year is a great time to start.
As we think about our personal New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to invite everyone to think about the New Year’s resolutions that we have for our faith journeys. To help us ponder this idea, here are a few questions for meditation: How is God speaking to you? What is God calling you to do? What is God calling you to be? Where is God calling you to go? Who is God calling you to be with? What things is God calling you to heal? What part of your faith journey is God calling you to focus on? How is God calling you to be active in the shared ministries of Faith?
Every person will answer these questions differently. The point here isn’t to tell anyone what to do or how to answer. The goal is simply to invite questioning. Not the kind of endless questioning that is anxious-making. Instead, it’s the kind of questioning that moves us onward. It keeps us searching, listening, and praying. In progressive Christianity we call this “living the questions.” It’s the kind of life that is lived with an open mind that is eager to learn, an open heart that is eager to share, and an open hand that’s eager to receive.
As we “live the questions,” we may find that our New Year’s resolutions change over time. Not because we have stopped doing them, but because we are called in a new direction. God’s call in our lives changes as we journey. We’re not called to stay on one pathway forever. Instead, we’re called on a holy adventure. In this adventure with God, we’ll take many different pathways and directions. God isn’t a boring God. God is the Great Adventurer that goes with us on the great adventure of life.
Psalm 139:7-12 describes God’s adventurous presence in our lives: “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” May these words of Scripture bless you on all the adventures of 2011.
Enjoy the New Year!