By Mark Luker
2015 – Are you ready?
I’m about as “ready” as these squirrels outside hopping around searching for those nuts they buried last fall – if they could just remember where they buried their food ~ all that hard work will not be in vain I’m sure.
I quit making new year’s resolutions about the same time I was in the hospital wondering if I should plan on coming home or not – and someone told me that the best way to make God laugh –
was to tell him what you have planned for tomorrow.
Truthfully, that is when I finally relaxed – when I realized that I had no control over tomorrow.
I was either going to live or I was going to die. It was really as simple as that.
Kind of like boiling potatoes – not really much to it – just a mater of time.
I stopped being a patient worrying about dying and became a patient thankful I was still alive. Did you know, doctors think that’s pretty important?
hmmmm – must be why God has told us not to worry about tomorrow huh?
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
That is when I started laughing with people and becoming a general nuisance to my doctors and medical staff as I began harassing them daily about when my therapy was going to start.
(actually, I think the reason they sent me home was not so much because I worked so hard in therapy, but because they just wanted to get rid of me!)
I realized that God had saved me and now it was time to go home.
I was looking forward to going where God was taking me.
I couldn’t see where he was taking me – but I still wanted to take the first step!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I didn’t need to make a list because my life is God’s thing – not mine.
Looking forward to.
Looking forward to and planning, the way I see it, are two squirrels looking for a different nut, if you know what I mean.
I read all the time of people who are told they don’t have long to live so they make plans ~ a “bucket list” of things they want to accomplish and experience before their lives end in this world.
I didn’t make a bucket list – for pretty much the same reason why I don’t compile new years resolutions.
I don’t want to make a wish list of things that will tie me to this world.
People express sadness towards those who don’t have a “bucket list” as if it is a bad thing – but seriously – without the pressure of a list hanging on my shoulders – I have great peace.
I don’t believe there is even one thing I can think of in this world that could match what God has promised me in the next – so – I won’t spend my time wishing for anything.
Our society has flooded us with the notion that there is some magic power in resolutions – that somehow, if we are determined and work hard enough, we can achieve anything.
How much do you think you can achieve in your life without God?
Making a bucket list for your life – is like planning your neighbors life – it’s not yours to plan is it? Yes, we have free will to make such a list and I think that is the main reason why so many people get lost in this world.
To me, free will doesn’t mean that I am free to have anything I want in this world. I believe God gave us free will because our lives bring him glory when we choose his will and not our own.
Jesus died for us – certainly not because he deserved it. Jesus chose God’s will – he didn’t make a bucket list of all the places he hadn’t seen yet – or things he would love to do someday, he simply recognized that his life belonged to God – it was why he was in this world – and the whole time he was here – he stayed focused on that reason. Nothing else mattered to him.
The devil tempted Jesus and lets face it, offered him some pretty cool things. Anyone but Jesus would have been led to believe they had the freedom to “go after” their heart’s desires. Funny thing though, these offers came with a condition that Jesus bow down to the devil.
So where was the free will in that?
Seems to me, if Jesus had chosen that bucket list, it would have made him a prisoner.
The bucket list that the devil offered Jesus doesn’t seem so grand when we see where following his own will would have led him.
We all desire to make changes in our lives to be sure and to make real changes, we need to be resolute in our efforts, especially when we feel God is leading us somewhere. But the actual change we are looking for does not come merely from making a list i.e. new years resolutions or bucket lists, and displaying them for the world to see.
This may be the leading reason why exercise equipment ends up sitting in the closet – and new gym memberships are canceled in March. Just saying ~
Do you think before Moses lead God’s people out of bondage and through the dessert he wrote a resolution and shared it with everyone first? He just did it.
Do you think David was a strong warrior in every battle and became a great king because he had a great bucket list? Do you think he wrote a bucket list, with killing Goliath being number one on his list? He just did it!
Do you think just anyone could have built the ark if they had made a firm resolution to do so and then “put their mind and energy into achieving it?”
How many of you really believe those self help books that tell us we can do anything if we just put our minds to it?
Certainly, God enables us – he guides us – makes us strong – he sure has enabled me – but we must seek him first!
Matthew 6:31-33 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I believe, with all my heart and mind, that the only reason I will have success in achieving my dreams and hopes this year, will be because God wanted me to. I believe that only God has the power to work through the circumstances of my life – not me.
That’s why I will bring my plans to him for approval first – just like David did.
1 Samuel 23 “Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.”
Yes, I have dreams – it is fun to dream isn’t it? Sometimes, dreaming gets us through some tough times I know. But I know God has a plan for me and the only sure fire way of being ready for his plan – is to not let these dreams that are swimming around in my brain make me miss an exit God wants me to take in this life because I was too occupied with my own dreams.
I will spend my energy thanking him for what he has already given me and spending my days conducting this life that God has given me – wisely. –
not dreaming I had a different one.
1 Samuel 18:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.
Rather than relying on what he thought he could do for himself – David must have thought it better to have God with him and in that way, he would be far more blessed by trusting God rather than wishing for complete control of his life, right?
What would you rather have –
A wish list that may or may not come true, based on your own power –
Or the power of God working in your life and having everything that does happen in your life be what God really wants to have happen in your life?
I will look forward to this new year with excitement and wonder for what God has planned for me ~ I will look forward to each tomorrow that God gives me – and thankful for his will in my life.
I just won’t make any plans.
I leave it all up to God.