A New Year, complete with resolutions
And on a more basic,common-sense level, there's something else I've learned: without any goals I tend to squander my time, to move about aimlessly. It's tremendously easy as a Christian to spiritualize this stagnation as waiting for the final end goal - the ultimate consummation of my salvation - the return of the Savior. It is helpful to remember, however, that Christians for millenia have lived and died in that hope. I am called to occupy until He comes, to invest my talents, trim my lamp (Mt. 25), and be found caring for those of His household (Mt. 24:45-46) when He comes. I've also learned of that startling possiblity that a (so-called) Christian can deceive himself into inactivity, using the very sovereignty of God as an excuse for laziness - thinking that God's going to do what He's going to do regardless of his choices, so it's okay to do nothing. This is the person God refers to in the end as a "wicked and slothful servant," and "worthless". This one will in the end be shown to have been no true Christian at all as God commands this "worthless" one to be cast "into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Mt. 25:26,30)
So, I've learned it is better to make many goals and reach a few, than to make no goals and accomplish nothing. It should also be obvious that my goals should be to the glory of God, as best I can understand, and in line with my own "talents". It would make no sense for me to take on goals God has clearly not gifted me for. (ie. I will not purpose to become a pastor, since I'm a woman; or a mother of 5, since I'm nearly 45; to get a job on an off-shore oil rig, or teach a course in algebra or physics....)
So, in the spirit of what I've learned, I've decided to make some resolutions this New Year:
1. Teach the class on John Owen's, Mortification of Sin, which I've already committed to begin this spring (and nearly backed out of twice!)
2. Mortify the sin of harboring dislike toward folks who don't like me (I could also call it learning to genuinely love my enemies and love my brothers and sisters in Christ from the heart).
3. Memorize the book of Romans.
4. Read Milton's, Paradise Lost.
5. Read Dostoevsky's, The Brothers Karamazov.
6. Finish painting my kitchen, and finish the floors in the spare room.
7. Invest several more hours per week in building the book business, with the ultimate goal that it replace my housecleaning business someday.
8. Begin an on-line reading group with one of my blogger friends (N - that's you).
9. Paint my first canvas in acrylic (or call that, become an artist again).
10. and last, but least likely: to get half-way through my refresher course in New Testament Greek.