With Christmas all neatly packed away in the appropriately labeled boxes snugged back into the crawl space of my house, I eagerly turn to January. I know that some report feeling depressed after the holidays as the final lights of Christmas and New Years are those of the tail lights of the cars of loved ones as they drive away from the house. As much as I treasure all the good that the holidays bring, I always love the feeling of January which stands at the beginning of the year, a fresh slate, a clean start, a new beginning to embrace.
In the January 5 page of the Upper Room devotional I am reading, it shares how a bumblebee's wingspan seems far too small to lift the heavy weight of the bumble. If I were to look to only my time, talent and treasures as the only means by which I could tackle the year ahead, I would despair. There is much work ahead, many challenges to meet, there is no way I could do this alone. The bumble flies anyway, and so do we because there is something far greater at work than what we can immediately see, namely God.
And so I turn to the new year with an expectant and hopeful heart. I also spend some time doing the following things:
(1) take a few minutes to breathe, relax after the bustle of the holidays and rest.
(2) write up what has been accomplished in the past year (I need to do this for our church's annual report, but I always find it inspiring to remember what God has done already
(3) spend some time daydreaming about what God is calling me to do
(4) make a list of the challenges that need to be faced and overcome
(5) make ready for the new (this can be accomplished in so many ways...setting up files, organizing data and information I will need, it also means examining where my time is being spent and assess whether or not it is a good use of my time going forward)
(6) spend time searching for books to reach, classes to teach or take (I especially enjoy this one!)
Perhaps there are other things that you do to prepare for what comes ahead. I hope that you, too, will be buoyed by the truth that we read in Ezekiel 37:14, "You shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act." God is speaking to each of us today and is calling us to live into our faith, trusting Him more completely, loving Him more deeply and realizing that He has wonderful plans He calls us to accomplish in His name and for His glory. He gives us all we need...Himself.