To many of us, our 2014 started out with a Bang! To some, literally. For most, just that high expectant spirit that brings in the positivity.
Mine didn’t. At least for my family. An uncle, my father’s cousin, died on the 31st of December. A huge cloud of sadness ushered us into the new year. To add to that, we were all tired from the days before. My father celebrated his retirement and we prepared a party for him. I, had just concluded ‘Light Up A Life’, an event that was 2 years in the making. I will write about that in the next post.
The bed was the only comfort I felt that time. No prayers were said. No ecstatic “Happy New Year” exchanges. I didn’t even pick up my phone. Sleep was the only momentary relief from the sorrow and our aching bodies.
I didn’t wake up with a Eureka moment either. Not like Christmas morning. Not like the January firsts I used to have. I didn’t plan for a personal retreat. I didn’t go , sit and plan for the year. It was an ordinary day. I am big on Moments. And As a personal tradition, I make sure I will have something to remember about the First day of the year. This however, was just plain rising of the sun and setting.
And so was the next. And the next.
But January 4th came and I was reminded of a breakthrough in my life on that same date, seven years ago. So I decided, THIS has to be special. I went to my favourite place in the campus ( Dr. R.Kole’s garden, where else?) and plopped down my Bible, my planner, and 4 other journals. Laugh at me I have four different journals; one for my spiritual walk, one for my bible readings, one for my future husband (What??!) and one for my prayer lists that I only write on every January 1st.
The Lord is sweet. My bible reading that day fell on 1 Chronicles 16. It was David’s Psalm of Thanks. I wrote down verses 8-36 on my journal. David’s thanksgiving is very humbling. This man who has everything, he has the stature that Kings tremble at, and the favour of God and man. He was even called ‘A man after God’s own heart. Out of the abundance the mouth speaks. He spoke none about himself.
The Lord exposed my heart. More than ever, every day since that day, the Lord has been showing me how wicked my heart is. Every good deed was in question. Every kind word was scrutinized. Every loving act was dissected. As if God was asking me: “Are you REALLY doing this for me?”
I crumble at the thought that most of those things I claim to be ‘good’ are actually good only for the pile. Nothing. Filth.
But, as I made my list of “Thanksgiving” for 2013, a certain joy grew inside me. Yes, the joy of having been graced-out! Undeserving but blessed anyway! I spent a good few hours just having that alone moment with God and just poured out my heart to him. Its funny how candid we can get with God when he weeds away all our pretensions.
I closed all my journals with a resolve that God is TRUTH. And, in this world where the human heart is ridden with lies (including mine), I can trust Him who is true.
(If I had not mentioned, I started the year nursing a spat with a very close friend. Lies can break hearts. And my heart was in pieces. It was only today, when another friend talked about forgiveness that I was fully convinced to let go.)
I am reminded of the part of the Christmas story that is often not discussed at length, nor played out in Christmas pageants. That of the gloominess of Bethlehem when Herod had all the young boys, 2 years old and below, killed to prevent the Messiah from fulfilling his purpose. There were no fireworks but weeping and wailing. Equally noisy. But, in the heavens, there was an excitement, and uproar of praise, an unending dancing of the angels knowing that God’s plans are coming along just as he had penned them.
The fireworks only lasted for a few minutes. The sparks, seconds. Not enough to light up the cloud that descended upon us. Not enough to warm my heart that have gronw cold to human relationships. But having that moment on the 4th has planted a joy in my heart knowing that there is a glorious plan already laid out for me. A plan for a ‘hope and a future’.
So bring it on, Lord!