My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer (Psalm 45:1)
Happy New Year!
The ball has dropped, the confetti has been cleaned up, and the celebrations marking the entrance of a new year have now passed. Our new year has begun, and for most of us we’ve pushed the holidays and celebrations behind us as we have returned to the business of day-to-day living.
But in an attempt to make this year different, I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions or set very many goals. Usually by Jan. 2 I’ve forgotten them anyway or realized I set my aims too high and gave up before I even began.
But this year instead of looking inward to who I was and basing my goals and expectations for the year on that, I looked in another direction. I looked upward.
No I didn’t have this great epiphany or some new revelation. God did not audibly speak to me and move heaven and earth that I might glimpse into my future. He didn’t give me a great vision or set a bush on fire. Instead He gave me a word.
Okay, I know it’s not an exciting word or even a very eloquent sounding one. Its a pretty commonly used word and I’d wager that most of us probably use it many times a day without giving it much thought.
So what was I supposed to do with it?
Well the first thing I did was to look up its meaning in the dictionary. And I saw words like true, authentic, sincere, honest used in its meaning. Simple words certainly, but words that spoke of value and worth.
But although these words stirred something within me, still my question remained. What was I supposed to do with this word? How was it suppose to help me get this new focus for my new year?
And then as God so often does, He answered me. Actually He did me one better. He gave me a visual example.
Sitting in church one sunday morning, I was preparing to listen to the morning sermon. I pulled out my notebook, my bible and poised my pen ready to take my sermon notes.
Yes I’m a note taker in church. It’s not only a way for me to hear the words and lessons emphasised by my pastor, but it’s a way for God to speak to my heart and help me to hear the specific message He has for me.
So with my pen poised and at the ready, I noticed my young cousin sitting next to me fidgeting. She looked bored. She was scribbling and drawing on some notepaper of her own, but I could see that she needed something to do. So I whispered to her that if she took some notes from the sermon and was able to tell me later what the pastor preached about, I’d get her a treat after church.
She jumped on the assignment with gusto and before I knew it she was writing away on her paper. Satisfied that she was occupied, I turned my attention back to the pastor and listened as he and God wove a specific message with my name all over it.
After benediction, my young cousin turned to me and said, “Look”. She showed me several pages of notes that she’d taken of the sermon. And as I looked through her notes, I realized that she’d written down almost word for word many of the things the pastor had mentioned in his sermon.
Talk about thorough! Her notes made mine look like child’s play. In the span of a sermon, her attentive ears had missed almost nothing.
Many might argue that her motive and attentiveness came from knowing she’d be rewarded. Others might say it came from her desire to have something useful to do during service. But whatever the motive, the outcome spoke to me about the very word God had already given me.
Her attentiveness to the pastor’s words reminded me of the attentiveness I need to have for God’s words.
Her word for word thoroughness reminded me of the same thoroughness I need to have in listening when God speaks to me.
Her ready pen and willingness to be used during the service reminded me of the willing spirit I need to be used by God.
And to do any of these things I need to first have a real relationship with Him.
Real wasn’t just a word God wanted me to use in reference to my character or self-worth. Nor was it just a word He wanted me to use in reference to how I wanted to focus on my new year. But rather I believe it was His way of bringing me back to what matters most.
A real relationship with Him.
So in taking my young cousin’s example to heart, my pen stands at the ready. Ready to be used by Him and for Him as He leads me through this journey called life. And its my hope that you’ll journey with us and together we can learn the beauty and benefits in having a real relationship with Him.
Who knew such a small word could pack so much meaning within it? Somehow I think God knew.