At one point or another, formally or informally, we all reflect on a year now in the past and one already begun. Some of us make new year resolutions, others simply ponder what might lay ahead in their career, in relationships, in their faith, or in their personal growth. I’m finding myself more in the camp of the latter rather than the former.
Although I accomplished many things in 2009, I’m more pleased about some than others. I finished my two-year writing course which was no small feat for me. I managed to stay at my job for a one year anniversary (I’m still there), and I managed to read the Bible through again – although I’m not certain I remember most of it. But probably most important, I celebrated another wonderful year with my beautiful bride. I’m never really certain why she stays with me, she could do so much better, but I am forever thankful that she does. She truly is a blessing.
For the year ahead – well I’ve pondered several things. I’d like to read the Bible through again (it may take me six years this time). It appears we’ll have an opportunity to see our UK kiddos later this summer so that’s exciting. Then I’m hoping to find a level of peace about what I want to write about and just exactly how to go about it. I’m not certain why I struggle with this so much, most of what I’ve submitted has been published in one form or another, it’s simply that I don’t always feel comfortable with the whole process.
Oh yes, lest I be foolish enough to leave this out – there is my spiritual journey. It’s had its ups and downs this year mostly because I struggle to find my own comfort level of belief. By that I mean, I’m more liberal than most but not liberal enough to dismiss the personal nature of my faith. I’m more prone to question things and not always comfortable with the answers I find. There are times I wish my faith were more simple and less complicated. You know, the “let go and let God” kind of faith. But it’s not nor do I suspect it will ever be. Then most (well, not most perhaps, but right up there), we’d like to find a church home were we are comfortable and can be of service to Christ.
Finding a church home is way more difficult than we imagined. Partly, I suppose, because we are personalizing it way too much and look for churches that have early services instead of looking for churches that we can be a part of. Some of that is practical. I just find it difficult to get up early on Sunday morning and then sit around waiting for something to happen at 10:30 or 11:00 am. Seems to me having church that late is simply a misuse of time. So I reckon I have some decision-making to do in that regard.
Besides the issue of time, there is preaching. Now I suspect I was never that good of a preacher, but at least I made stringent efforts to deal with the text of scripture instead of using it as a springboard for some tangent. Furthermore, I’d like to listen to a sermon where it becomes obvious the speaker has actually wrestled with the text and its implications for living. Too often what I seem to hear is just another rehash of simple themes. I mean let’s think about it for a minute. In any given congregation there a business people who manage groups of people and large budgets, there are employees who take responsibility for their jobs and do them well, there are sales people who make major proposals and manage hundreds of clients, there are “soccer moms” who manage school schedules, work schedules and maintain a family budget, but for some reason someone has decided that these folks cannot manage the power and depth of the Bible. There is some premise that says if we don’t keep it simple they’ll never get it. Well guess what? I think they’ll get it!
Okay, that rant is over. Thanks for being patient.
So, what’s ahead for 2010? I honestly have no clue. But my desire is that my kids will be well and happy; that my extended family will be blessed with joy; that I’ll be a good husband, father, friend and employee. I plan to read more and watch less TV. I expect to have a road-trip or two with my sweetie in our Vette. And….. I sincerely hope to find place where we can worship and celebrate our great God.