As I'm here for a few moment on New Year's Eve, I'm thinking about the change in perspective that has come about for me this year.
In the past I've been a person who always had a plan, really into goal setting. While I still find that there's something to be appreciated about the mentality, I've loosened up a lot. It's like I told a friend recently, I've come to the place where I'm much less invested in praying and striving for my specific outcomes. Repeatedly I've seen that God works in ways that I would have never figured, does things that surprise me. Yet His ways are always ultimately best (even though I can't always see this at the time). It's as if I've come to be more interested to trying to figure out what God is doing, and to join in with His work. I find myself asking - what's God up to?
I'm like everybody else, I've got some trying situations in my life. One of my sisters is a paranoid schizophrenic who refuses to take medication and who frequently mis perceives situtations and make corresponding bad decisions that put her in danger or make life difficult. My other sister lives with my mother and does not treat my mother right, and is extremely irresponsible with money so I'm constantly needing to help them out financially; I have concerns for my neice in that whole situation. My middle son appears spiritually uninterested. My youngest son seems to seek to spend the least amount of time possible around me, as if my very presence is a source of annoyance. I'm working at a job where I'm coming to admire, like, and appreciate the people with whom I work, but that is beneath my abilities, credentials, and training. The job also pays significantly less than I've made in any position in the past ten years and involves a long commute which I do not relish. Yet I know that God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan for my life, a plan to give me a hope and a future.
Repeatedly in the past I've seen God take situations that seemed wretched or hopeless, in my own life or in the lives of others, and bring good outcomes. I'm reminded of a verse in Ephesians 3:20 that says that God is able to do beyond what I can even imagine. So as I look at these difficult situations in my life, I approach this new year expectantly, interested to see how God is going to work in these situations. I also desire to learn to pray more (more effectively, frequently...I'm not sure exactly how to say it...only just that I want more in my life with regard to prayer). I want to be able to hear His voice better and to have my way of thinking to change to come more into line with His way of thinking. I want to see more of His power manifest in my life. These are the things I'm looking to for this upcoming year.
What about you, what's on your heart as you approach 2011?