Now that Christmas has come and gone, I’m not one of those people who let the dust settle on the decorations for long. Some sort of buried OCD overcomes me the day after Christmas and pushes me to immediately box up all evidence of Christmas and the holidays in record breaking time.
As much as I enjoy the sentiment and beauty of the Christmas season, every year finds me getting anxious for New Year’s’. There’s something about the notion of “starting over” at the beginning of each year that helps me to look to the future with the hope of being refreshed.
I don’t like to make resolutions, rather I like to look towards the New Year with renewed expectation and pray for God to change one thing about me in the upcoming year.
I’ve got a whole slew of unappealing habits, attitudes and behaviors to choose from each year, so there’s never a shortage of things for me to ask God to help me change.
One year I asked God to help me curb my propensity for negative thinking. One year I spent an entire year praying for God to help me change the way I treated people. Last year I had great success praying that God would help me to love myself according to the specifics of the scriptures that command us to love your neighbor as yourself.
I find that by concentrating on only one area of my life for a solid year, I’m able to make great strides towards improvement. Changing an area of my God-given personality actually necessitates that I include God in the process because at my age – my personality quirks and I are very good friends and unwilling or unlikely to change on their own.
Whenever I want to spend time studying one subject in particular, I look for books that speak to that subject and I concentrate on finding every Scripture in the Bible I can related to that particular subject.
With either a concordance or Bible website, I do a word search for the word I’m studying and write out every single reference I can find for that keyword. I spend the next year looking up every reference, reading, re-reading and meditating on those Scriptures until I get it.
As I have begun to pray and ask God what behavior or attitude He’d like to help me work on in 2011 – I’m very clearly hearing … fear. I’m not so much a worrier as I am fearful of things … lots of things, sometimes in a very unhealthy manner.
I know I can never be perfect (and thankfully God doesn’t expect me to be) but I can do my part to ask God to change those things about myself that are contrary to His Word. This year … I am trusting God to help me fear not. This is a biggie for me – but I know that with God ALL things are possible and I will not be afraid of the work He can do in and through me.
Wishing you a blessed New Year!