living in color

So how is the New Year going?   Did you make any New Year’s resolutions or set some new personal goals for 2011?

How do you feel about resolutions?  Over the years I’ve heard many different opinions about how to and how not to start off a new year and many came from u-tube videos, sermons or just from conversations over a cup of coffee.  I’ve heard New Year’s resolutions described as a new page, fresh beginning, and a chance to start again. And I’ve heard New Year resolutions also portrayed as guilt inducing, set-up to fail scenarios and I’ve even heard them condemned as being a sin.

In my own experience I have embraced, celebrated, regretted and cried over New Year resolutions… but mostly I’m amazed at how time flies.

Ever since the new millennium, every year just looks weird!  2011 looks like the date you’d see in a sci-fi movie.  Especially when I look back to the memorable 1980’s – the decade when I was a teenager, graduated, got married and had my first baby – it does seem like time has flown by.

But another year has started and this time of year does its ‘magic’ on people like me. I’m a ‘game plan’ type of person.  I’ve always had some form of a daytimer (if you’ve had one, you know what I’m talkin’ about).  Sometimes I bought them, other years I made my own. Printing off pages and schedules and organizing them in mini files in my carry-around notebook.  I can come up with the best game plan; organized, concise, filled with large goals, small goals and then daily time slots to enhance efficiency. I’ve even done the color coded thing… with red scheduling for exercise and blue for school, green for work… you get the picture (in full color). And when I was really on my game I’d even have a Bible verse inserted in my scheduling to ponder throughout the week.

Now I’m more into computerized scheduling, and I’m trying to resist the color coding because I find it much easier to create an impressive schedule than actually keep it! I can spend lots of time color coding and organizing a great looking schedule BUT it’s another story to keep that schedule.  All the fancy colors, creative fonts and lofty aspirations looked impressive enough – and it is fun to create – but it was much easier to make a plan than to keep it. It seems easier to come up with new ideas than to implement what needs to be done.

This morning I was reading through Philippians and there was a verse that literally jumped out in Technicolor.  Philippians 3: 16 “…let us live up to what we have already attained.” Paul is admonishing the Philippians to live up to what they know to be true.  In a portion of his letter when he is addressing how each should live, he basically says – ‘just live the way you know you should; live up to what you know is true’.

How about this for a New Year resolution: live up to what I already know.

Be the person I know I am.  Live life as I know the best way how.  Make the right decision because it is the right decision. Treat people the way I know they need to be treated.  Schedule my day the way I know it needs to be lived.

This reminds me of a saying I previously had in one of my daytimers (yes… in fancy script and bright colors).  To paraphrase it: “I don’t seek to teach you anything new; I strive to remind you of what you already know”.

So as I start 2011, I am once again ignoring the enticement of creating a ‘new life’ or a ‘new me’.  Instead I am seeking to live 2011 according to what scripture says.  I want to live up to what I already know.  This simple black and white message should provide a kaleidoscope of contexts for each day.

Copywrite © Doris Born 2011 – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation

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light

We were heading home from a family reunion in Calgary Alberta.  It wasn’t a planned gathering; it just sorta happened.  One family decided to visit another family and soon a snowball effect transpired as grandparents, cousins and siblings decided to converge at the one sister’s home. Families came and went as their schedules allowed and visits overlapped as some arrived while others departed throughout the week. Our first night there we had over 25 people sleeping in various places all around the house. During the day we played games (Dutch Blitz and TBGE – “the best game ever”) watched movies, cheered on Team Canada’s junior boys’ hockey team, sipped café lattes and just sat amidst love and commotion of all these people everywhere. It was loud, fun and a bit random; just like my ‘life’ tends to be.

A couple days later we headed back to BC.  We quickly discovered the highway was covered with a sheet of ice.  We drove, or should I say ‘slid’ along the trans-Canada for less than twenty minutes when we decided to turn around and head back.   It just wasn’t safe.

About six hours later we headed out again, and although we could still feel the occasional swerve, we slowly made our way back home.

We traveled in darkness and the reflection of the highway signs detailed our route notifying us of the places we were passing through. But we could see nothing beyond the shine of our headlights.  We had been traveling for about four hours when a sobering realization hit me.  Because of our departure delay we had just traveled through one of the most beautiful parts of world without seeing any of its beauty.

There are few sceneries that rival the beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Of course I’m biased, but if you have ever taken the Trans Canada Highway through the Rocky Mountain National Park, I think you might agree with me.  The mountains line each side of the highway and are majestic in structure and magnitude.  Especially during the winter, the sun reflecting off the snow-capped ridges contrasting against the bright blue sky is particularly breath taking.

The original plan had been to drive through the mountains during the day which was forecasted as clear and crisp.  But the roads played the tune “Slip-sliding away” and we had to change our travel plans and drive through majestic beauty in the dark… with my heart singing the blues.

The next day, after we arrived home safely, I opened my bible to look up some passages that were highlighted during the family impromptu-reunion.  Specifically, my sister’s sister-in-law (yes, it was an ‘extended’ family gathering) had referenced 1 John.

I read the following:

“God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1: 5-7 NLT)

I immediately thought of the uselessness of traveling through the Rocky Mountains in the darkness.  Sure, we got to our destination, but the joy of the trip was robbed.  Because of the darkness we couldn’t see the beauty that we were driving right through.  Those majestic mountains, reaching up into the sky displaying the contrast of pristine forests and rock face, were invisible in the night sky.  The mountain passes, frozen waterfalls and winding ravines were there, but we couldn’t enjoy their beauty because we traveled in darkness.

In this upcoming year I want to walk in light.  I want to see the beauty around me.  I want to enjoy each day in relationship with God, because in him there is no darkness.  Living in the light is allowing God to show us when we mess up.  It means allowing his forgiveness to not only free us from our guilt but also giving us a venue to extend forgiveness to those who hurt us. Walking in the ‘light’ enables us to journey each day at peace with God and in healthy relationships around us.

As we travel through 2011 my wish for all of us is that we live in the light. I pray that our journey will be in fellowship with God so that we can see and enjoy the splendor of each day.