desires, dreams and aspirations

Today is typically a day dedicated to making resolutions, setting goals, looking forward – it’s a time of planning, of plotting a path that will take me to where I want to go. But what if I don’t know where I want to go? What if I don’t have an end goal or a particular destination in mind? Am I doomed to wander aimlessly, without a purpose to direct my days and give order to my steps? Somehow, this doesn’t seem like a very promising start to the new year.

I should be identifying goals, making graphs and charts – ok, well at least lists, I should be making lists, lists of all kinds – check lists, to do lists, lists of books to read, of home projects to start, home projects to finish, lists of new hobbies I’ve been meaning to take up, a new class at the gym, that story I never finished . . . the lists could be long and there could be many of them. If I could create enough of these lists, maybe they could guide me through this coming year. They could provide the direction and purpose I seek and a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment every time I could check a box or cross something off my list.

It’s good to have a plan going forward and lists can help me create that plan and make it concrete. Goal setting, planning, lists, resolutions – these will give me control over my future and what lies ahead in this new year. Well, if not actual control, at least I’ll have a sense or a feeling of control as I make my plans, set my goals and write my infinite lists – work lists, wish lists, wildest dreams lists . . . lists of endless possibilities. Isn’t that what I’m really looking for, some measure of control over my unknown future? Yet even as I’m making my plans, these words run through my head –

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Based on my experiences in years past, I assume this coming year will be full – full of the unexpected and the unforeseen, full of gain and loss, joy and sadness, peace and pain – there will be challenges I am probably not prepared to face, but who among us is until called to do so? I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of mountains to move or to climb in the days and months ahead. Maybe my resolution will be not to turn my molehills into mountains since there are already enough mountains to keep me challenged. Maybe this year I will resolve to pay more attention to the journey, which is my present, than to an elusive destination that may or may not be my future. Maybe I will give up control and see where life takes me. Maybe I will trust more and become a better follower. I don’t know what the future holds but I know the One who does know.

“I am God and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

This year I will – “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct my paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Letting my Heavenly Father direct my path this year – that sounds like both a challenge and an adventure. Am I willing to do this? Abraham did just this very thing. God called him and Abraham answered. It went down like this –

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.’ . . . So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.” (Genesis 12:1-4)

That’s trust, that’s faith, because God didn’t tell Abraham where he would be going. Abraham didn’t know his final destination, he had to trust God to direct his steps every day of the journey. The journey would prepare him for what lay ahead. Abraham didn’t know what lay ahead of him, but God did. And that was enough. It was also enough for the brothers Peter and Andrew, who were busy fishing when Jesus called them.

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-20)

Like Abraham, Peter and Andrew didn’t know what lay ahead of them, but they trusted the One who did know, the One who called them to leave everything and follow Him. Jesus knew what the future held and that was enough. It’s enough for me, too. I will have to make this choice new every day if I am to follow well and let my Heavenly Father order my steps each day. So that is what I will do – every day a challenge, a joy, a sorrow, an adventure filled with a purpose not my own – following God’s path rather than my own plan.

“Then He (Jesus) called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?’ ” (Mark 8:34-37)

faith is not for the faint of heart, may I have the courage to surrender and to follow where You lead every day, Lord –

sincerely, Grace Day

2 thoughts on “desires, dreams and aspirations

  1. As this new year begins, I pray, like you, That god will give me the faith daily to surrender and follow him. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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  2. A new year to continue in the faith of following the One who is the Way, the Truth & the Life. I pray that He finds pleasure in our following faith.

    Like

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