I look forward to January. The pages of the previous year are now done. New pages come into focus - unblemished and full of hope. Every year at this time Bobbi and I make a list of goals we would like to accomplish. We have done this for the last eleven years. We break them down into sections - spiritual formation goals, savings goal, home improvement goals, physical health goals, vacation goals, and ministry goals. It is fun to see what we have done over the years with God's grace. It is not as fun to see some of the yearly goals over and over again.
Bobbi and I know that life happens. I mean, who would have thought at the beginning of 2009 that I would accept a new calling at the Servant Leadership Institute and leave a wonderful 7 1/2 year ministry at St. Anne's? Not me, nor Bobbi. So 2010 will bring us many surprises in the midst of our planning. Are we ready to trust Our Lord when life happens? Here is what I am learning:
1. That we are able to receive God's gift when we learn to surrender to the moment. The spiritual key is to "surrender" and permit God to enter into the circumstances fully.
2. That we are able to receive God's gift when we pay attention to those folks God has put around us. Our discontent only inhibits our spiritual growth. Our gratitude only enhances our spiritual growth. Who are the people God has placed before you? It is from them you will receive God's gift.
3. That we are able to receive God's gift when we decide to take responsibility for our life. Blaming others for our attitude, problems, and circumstances only helps take your eyes off of God and His grace. Taking responsibility (it does not mean demeaning or blaming yourself) for life will allow you to live in God's reality and not your illusions.
I am looking forward to this year. My youngest son, Alex, will be getting married to a wonderful lady of faith and beauty. Bobbi and I are looking forward in seeing more of Sofia and Michael Anthony, our grandchildren. We are also looking forward in serving our LORD through the writing of books, teaching, and starting a new church ministry for His kingdom. But Lord, not my will, thine be done!
Have a happy new year. May this new decade be filled with God's grace, peace, and love. - Tony+