|Photo courtesy of Arvind Balaraman|
I love the anticipation of what a new year may bring. There’s something about the change in year heralding something new, fresh and vibrant in one’s life. As I only read last night in RELEVANT magazine, the new year offers a "psychological reset button."
I make a point of taking some time out to reflect on the year past and what is ahead. I typically will set some goals across all aspects of my life. My wife and I will do likewise to ensure we understand hopes and dreams plus identify specific targets for such things as home improvements, holidays, leisure activities and such like.
Interestingly, I find as we set off into January and pick up where we left off before the holidays, some or even a lot of that new year ‘spring’ has departed. I get immersed in the stuff of life.
But the first few months of this year will be very different from those of recent years. My wife and I are relocating from Sydney to Melbourne in the next few weeks. Fiona has taken up a new role with her employer that is best served from the Melbourne Head Office.
Never having done such I’m expecting it to be a fairly big change. With new home and new city come new perspectives. There’s an absolute thrilling aspect to discovering all the many “new” things: neighbours, friendships, churches, jobs, restaurants, dog walks, the list goes on.
Yes, there is the humdrum of the move: finding a house that will take us and our two pups, packing up, unpacking and so on.
Then there’s the sadness of what we leave behind. Two adult kids, to start with, leaving us as earlier than expected empty nesters.
Big changes can sometimes consume us and take too great a place in our minds. I know whenever I’ve changed jobs or had other significant change I have often grappled with being overly absorbed in the “new”.
And it’s at those times I’ve often taken my eyes off the Lord. Especially if my normal routines have been impacted, for example, leaving home earlier in the morning. Times spent with the Lord become rushed and the “dark woods of self-fulfillment” begin to take on a greater presence providing us with nourishment for the new journey.
This year amongst all the upheaval I’d like to be more intentional about keeping Jesus as the guest of honour in my heart so as to keep those dark woods from encroaching.
“Henri Nouwen once asked Mother Teresa for spiritual direction. Spend one hour each day in adoration of your Lord, she said, and never do anything you know is wrong. Follow this, and you’ll be fine.”1
It struck me on reading that I don’t spend much time on adoring the Lord. I’d like to get better at it, if such is possible.
I love how Sara Hegarty describes it:
“Adoration is breathing deeply of who He is and exhaling purity. It’s training my mind and my heart to look up.”
Okay, so there’s training involved. I’m up for it. Maybe not an hour a day, but we’ll see. I’m not sure what that looks like other than meditating on the Psalms, but I sensed “ADORE” should be my Word for 2015.
I’ll report back during the year with my progress. Be delighted if you keep me accountable to that too.
Anyone else doing something “BIG” in 2015? Birthing something new?
What practical steps do you take in adoration of the Lord? I’d love some suggestions.
Wishing all of the ICFW tribe a blessed 2015.
Notes: 1. Desire by John Eldredge, Thomas Nelson, 2007.