By Sandy Jones
“So that is my New Decade Resolution — to BE who I’m called to be; to work diligently to be fully present, not just with my family and friends, but fully present with God; and to do better to ‘let go, and let God’ do His part, while I focus on doing mine.”
This was the closing paragraph of my January / February column; it has had the single most responses personally for me in the history of this column. So much response that I’ve actually gone back and re-read the article twice.
Marla Tabaka wrote in an article on www.inc.com that 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February, which coincidentally is when I’m actually writing this. So I’m asking myself, is it an accident that I’ve heard back from so many of you, our readers, in the last week or so, or is this a “God-thing”? Perhaps He’s holding me accountable. Regardless, I feel this is a great time for transparency, to keep me moving forward toward my goal.
Admittedly, there have been times when I’ve wanted to check out. To bury myself in my Facebook feed, or the next level of WordScapes. To get annoyed when that gets interrupted. Then I remember that will still be there when I check back into it; but this moment, this question, this opportunity to talk to my husband, catch up with one of our kids, play with our grandchildren, or laugh with my sister — these moments won’t always be.
I’ll never forget my last real conversation with my dad. He was on hospice and we knew he was failing fast. My husband and I had to go buy a new washing machine. Arriving back home I popped in next door to visit with the folks, mentioning that the new washer would be delivered soon.
Dad got that faraway look in his eye, and shared with me how he’d gone to town to buy his mom’s first washing machine. A wringer-washer. He just couldn’t see her doing laundry by hand any longer. The beauty in the memory he shared was so heartwarming. Then I did it. I interjected my own thought into the conversation, and the moment was lost. His train of thought was broken and he couldn’t recall what he was going to say next. Oh, how I wish I had just listened, traveling through time to a place before most of the six of us (my siblings and me) were born, a time when indoor plumbing seemed a fairy tale, when families lived together out of necessity. Living history. Sometimes our best teacher in life is regret, and I regret that I wasn’t present in the right way at that moment.
Funny thing about this story: Dad was often quiet, and when asked if everything was all right his response was always the same “can’t learn nothin’ if my mouth is runnin’.”
This same scenario has played out between our Heavenly Father and me too many times. I’m quite adept at telling Him what’s on my heart, while too frequently forgetting to wait on Him, to listen for what it is He would say to me.
No, I do not hear a deep, booming, audible voice like in the movie “The Ten Commandments”; regardless of His delivery method, though, it’s clear when I’ve turned a listening ear to Him — as clear as if it had been that voice.
I continue to be a work in progress, to slow down with the time I spend with God, just like time spent day to day with my family and friends.
Recently, I met a lovely young lady who was struggling in several areas, and was clearly not a current reader of our publication. One thing she said was, “I love the phrase ‘let go and let God.’ It sounds so peaceful. But what does it mean?”
I told of a canoe on the side of a calm lake with someone going over, climbing in, pushing off, and letting it coast. I explained that while that all sounds great, that’s not really how it works. God gave each of us a brain, and calls us to do our part, while leaning on Him for understanding, strength and direction. She responded with something to the effect of ‘we still have to row our canoe.’
As I re-read my last column, I was surprised to see that I’d used the phrase “let go and let God.” Was this an answer to prayer? Was He “speaking” to me? Cheering me on perhaps?
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. — Philippians 3:12 NIV
Easter will soon be upon us, a time of reflection as to the depth of the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. As a believer this is my favorite time of year, as His story is recounted time and again, and I recall everything He went through. If you’re reading this and you’re unsure what this means, I encourage you to visit one of the many Bible believing / Bible teaching churches in your community, and then plan to join us at The Greg Laurie Boise Harvest Crusade May 1st, 2nd and 3rd at ExtraMile Arena in Boise. (Formerly Taco Bell Arena, ExtraMile Arena is located on the Boise State University campus.)
And, as always, just a reminder to please frequent our advertisers and thank them for their support of Christian Living Magazine. We couldn’t do what we do without them!
Until next time…