Friday, January 31, 2014

This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons by Ganesha Balunsat

You're here to be light, bringing out God in the world.  If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand.  Now that I've put you on a hilltop, on a light stand - SHINE! 

Matthew 4:14-16 The Message (emphasis mine) 

Each new year we are faced with change,  unlimited opportunities and second chances.   Many choose to begin a new year with New Year's resolutions.  Honestly,  most of mine have been pretty much the same year after year.  I've failed miserably attempting to set the bar high and keep up with my seemingly endless list of things I want to improve, I want to begin or I want to be more consistent in.  I...I...I!

I decided for 2014 to see where the real problem lies.   What stops me from achieving my goals?   The more I thought about this I discovered I was the problem.  Ouch!  My fears,  inhibitions and anxiety about wanting to be absolutely perfect stood in my way time and time again.   This year sparked a desire for change.  I discovered a website focusing on putting aside those resolutions most can't keep beyond mid-January.  This site encourages you to focus on one word. Sounds intimidating, doesn't it?  How do you choose just one word to focus on every day, all year long?  For me, this task was daunting.   But more so because deep down I knew my word.   I knew where my focus needed to be.  It had nothing to do with me, but superior to anything I can ever attain to be.

Shine is my word for 2014.  My purpose is to reflect the light of the Lover of my soul in every single thing I do.  Sure,  I need work on time management, making healthier choices and saying no without feeling guilty.  The list can go on and on.  Yet my heart knows this is minuscule compared to what really matters. What I could be contributing to my sphere of influence. What my soul needs and my heart desires.

I'll be honest.  This is a scary and intimidating quest.  I want so badly to represent Christ and to shine BIG for Him.  But I realize this is so much BIGGER than me!  I will fail...there are days I just won't get it right. I'll have to fight daily against my own desires and will.   It will take bravery and fearlessness to be His light-bearer.  It will take community and accountability.  It will take mercy and grace.  It will take humility and continual learning of Him.  My prayer is for the Holy Spirit's help to do in me what I can't.

With shine as my focus, I truly believe all other things will fall into place. My focus shifts from Him.  With Him, ALL things are possible.   Things I've aimed to accomplish year after year I have mostly entrusted to myself.  No wonder I've struggled!  I trust this year to His leading, His desires; to make Him known to all I encounter.  The more I seek Him and strive to live for Him, He will grant me everything I need.

I will write as I'm led about my journey of shining for Him.  I hope you
will see Him and be encouraged to seek Him.  Pray for me as I cling to Him.

What is your focus for 2014?  Have you chosen one word to guide you and give this year purpose for you? Join me at oneword365.  I'd love to hear about your journey.  Please share in the comments.