Everyone’s writing (or has written) blog posts about the new year, resolutions, goals, anti-resolutions, etc., etc. It got me thinking about the new year and how I’d like to approach it. So for me there will be no resolutions this year. This year I really just want to be faithful and obedient to what God has already called me to do, and to grow more into the image and character of Christ. And this post is probably more for my benefit than anything else – those closest to me may pray for me and help keep me accountable. I know that together, in community, is where I grow and learn the best, so maybe this will help you as it helps me. So here’s my list of things that I know, without a doubt, God has called me to in 2010.
- Discipline Myself
Check out 1 Corinthians 9: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I guess I can authentically admit, that’s not me right now. I tend to stumble into God’s will for my life – to be honest. God has been gracious beyond measure to me, and to my family. I’m approaching 35 this year and I feel like I might finally be on my way to becoming an adult. But I’ve got quite a bit to tackle. I’d like to be more disciplined in my spiritual growth – rather than on-again, off-again devotions and study. I’d like to pray more specifically, and focus more on hearing God, especially through his word. And not out of duty, but out of a love and desire to grow closer to God and to hear his voice in my life – so that ultimately my life would be just a story of what God is doing and how great he is.
And of course as I’m getting older, my body is not quite the same as it used to be. Again to be honest, it’s mainly because of my lack of discipline. So in order to honor God, be an example to my family, and of course to impress my wife, I’m working towards taking back control of my body and literally beating it into submission.
- Pastor my Family
How do I know that God is calling me to this? Just take a look at Ephesians 5 & 6:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
If I have ever thought that I’m a “good” husband, this verse quickly reminded me of how selfish and self-centered I am. I’ve had this recurring thought in my mind in the past weeks, “How can I serve my wife”. And while I am trying to live that out – after reading that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”, I realized that I am nowhere close to where I need to be in building our marriage to be a picture of Christ and his church.
And the same goes with being a father. This isn’t an “I suck” post, it’s just a reality check. There’s so much more I need to be doing to truly pastor my children. I need to increase my patience threshold for one thing – some days the kids just drive me nutty. I want them to see their dad becoming more and more like Christ. More loving, more patient, more kind, more selfless, more interested in their world, more consistent, and more caring. I don’t want to tell them how to live – I want to show them.
A question came up in our staff meeting this week, “Are you Christian at home?” because it seems so easy to be a Christian at church, or at work, or around other Christian friends, but it is in the home where your true character emerges. And that is the place where it is the most important to be Christian because the family is the expression of God’s love and plan for this world.
- Lead at Work
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. -Colossians 3:23,24
This one honestly, and embarrassingly, is the easiest for me. I love what I do – sometimes a little too much, and my family pays the price. So what I’m working on is time-management and balance. It’s really about trust I think; do I trust that God is in control? A lot of times I act like he isn’t.
I do though, have a monumental task facing me this year at work: Rebranding a school – new logos, new website, new look & feel, updating all the paperwork and sharing vision with the staff, students and families. We’re hoping to increase our enrollment, take our school to the next level, and bring a new fresh sense of customer service and school spirit onto our campus. I will say that we are poised to accomplish these goals because of the gifted staff, the history and establishment of the school in this valley, and great attitudes of willingness to change and grow from our staff and our school families.
I’m looking forward to an amazing 2010 – the best year ever. Not necessarily because of my wonderful family or my job, but because I plan on spending 2010 walking closer with Christ than any year before. And whether he brings success of failure, joy or tragedy, health or sickness, my goal is to glorify him in my life, through my family, and in my work. If you’re the praying type, I’d sure appreciate your prayers throughout the year.