Around this time last year I was feeling pretty accomplished. I remember December 31, 2012 was a day of preparing not only for January 1, but for the rest of 2013. I cleaned my room, I changed my sheets, I had a schedule all printed out and taped to my door and beside the mirror in my room - I was ready to face the new year. My New Year's Day 2013 was spent in Starbucks, as I was doing further 'plotting' and planning. I also spent some time with one of my cousins in a visit I intended to make for a long time.
Today is January 1, 2014, and I am feeling pretty accomplished. Spent a few hours playing Mini Warriors on my recently resuscitated iPhone 4, while watching at least... five episodes out of Everybody Loves Raymond Season 4. You gotta love Frank Barone.
Not much, huh? Well, shortly after that, I get a call which eventually lands me in the hospital in a visit to a relative of a church member who figured into an accident. I would like to believe that everyone in attendance was reminded in some way, regarding the absolute and unending love of our Savior, Jesus Christ - not of my own doing, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
On this same day last year and today, I feel accomplished. The only difference is I took matters into my own hands last year... Today, I let out a small chuckle as I recall how the 'schedule' I came out with was ripped out and scrapped after I saw how I wasn't able to follow it due to unforeseen circumstances. The plans I had laid out in Starbucks were, for the most part, achieved albeit out of a sense of last minute panic.
Oh, and that last minute panic was caused by procrastination after encountering unforeseen circumstances.
I have no regrets for 2013, and nothing but excitement for what's to come this 2014, even if it seems as if I didn't make any sort of planning for this new year. Why?
John 1:17 states that grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. Our church spent the whole 2013 learning more and more about this grace and this truth - and obviously, what has been revealed has had a lasting impact on me.
The unforeseen circumstances I keep stating are things beyond my own comprehension. This alone should be reason enough for me to stop relying on myself. This is further proof of the truth which I believe came about through our Savior - the truth that at our best, our best will never be good enough to merit our own salvation. At our best, our best will never be good enough for us to establish a meaningful, abundant life.
Through Jesus Christ, I learned that I could never have made it on my own.
But that's where the grace comes in. God loved us in spite of our being imperfect sinners, and gave everything up by giving His only begotten, beloved Son, that He would take our place for what we deserve, to earn what we could never gain on our own.
Truth tells me not to trust in myself. Grace leads me to trust in Christ, and in Christ alone.
I still intend to plan for 2014 - in fact, I have a pen and a notebook by my side, first page ready to be filled - but by God's grace and truth in Christ, I can proceed - not banking on imperfect foresight, but future-consciousness: Living in the peace of knowing where I'm headed, in the light of understanding that all that is here is temporary.
Lots of words on this blog. Let me just say this: Jesus loves you completely. He did everything for you. You don't have to do anything to gain and keep your salvation - just believe in Jesus Christ. The blood He shed on the cross was more than enough.
God bless us all this 2014.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26