Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Window to a New Year

At a certain time of the day, if you look out a window, you can see both what’s outside the window and your reflection in the glass.

It’s like New Year’s. That certain time you reflect on the previous year’s journey as well as look forward to what’s on the other side of the midnight veil.

In my reflection, I went back and reread the Dry Ground posts from a year ago, a series called Take Aim (click to read).

What good intentions had I!

Among other things, I said in 2010 I wanted to enter writing contests in an effort to get published and volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center in Knoxville. Noble, worthy, well-intentioned aspirations for a new year!

Uh… taking inventory here… I …um… entered one contest and volunteered for about a month.

Oh, I’ve got excuses. For example, we moved away from Knoxville, so not volunteering wasn’t really my fault.

Funny how my first thought is fault, an attempt to soothe the guilty pangs accompanied with not accomplishing my goals.

So, what about the writing contest thing? Well, no excuses to be had. I just didn’t do it.

And these were just two goals I'd written down. Much of what I'd thought or hoped or wished or intended 2010 to be, it was not for one reason or the other.

Does this make me a failure? How does it affect my thoughts for 2011?

Try harder?

It’s a possibility, but in all probability, I’d end up in this exact spot next December.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

Goals are good. Even good intentions are good. Follow through is even better.


Grading myself on these things is superfluous. How I see me is superfluous. How I think others see me is the same fluff. The only mind that matters is God’s.

And here’s what He thinks.

He loves me. He made me unique, even down to the rhythm of my heartbeat. He showed me that I’m worth dying for. He wishes I would stop striving, beating myself up and expecting perfection from my imperfect self and instead depend on Him for everything, even the accomplishment (or not) of my goals.

He sees the entire fabric of my life, not just the strand of thread I can see that I’m standing on right now, and He knows the path of that thread as it weaves through time.

He knew we’d leave Knoxville at the same time I was declaring my intentions to volunteer. He knew that I’d get a job that leaves little time for pursuing my publishing dream. He also knows me, knows I’m on the shy side, have a knack for procrastination, and can only concentrate on so much at one time.

Look, I could lament that certain markers were not obtained this past year. I could obsess about the differences in the DID THAT column and the MISSED THAT column. I could tally up the marks and determine whether I’m super awesome or an epic fail. I could.


I could ask myself, what I did do this year, did I do it for God’s glory?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

This tells me that whatever I do, it should be for the good of many, not just my own good. That’s what gives God glory.

And that’s what I should carry with me to the other side of the windowpane. I do hope to improve in this over the course of the next year – but only by God’s grace. Otherwise, I’m back to measuring up to a false standard my flesh and pride have erected in place of God’s acceptance through Christ’s sacrifice.

Whatever I do in 2011, may I do it to His glory.

Happy New Year, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by