This month, I turned another year older which, as always, has caused me to do a lot of reflecting. What have I accomplished in my 48 years of life? What does God desire to do in and through me? What character traits do I need to increase in and what sins or habits do I need to let go of? Is He truly everything to me, or do I love the world more than I love Him?
It is possible to overdo self-reflection as most of life should be spent thinking of others and not ourselves, but periodic self-checks are necessary as they force one to slow down and press in to God’s Word, asking God to reveal what is truly in our hearts and lives so that we can allow Him to continue His perfecting work to make us more like Him.
First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in everything. If there is one thing I am thankful for this past year, it’s that many people were forced to cut out activities and, therefore, focus more on God and their families. I’m sure a lot of people did not take advantage of the situation to do these things, but the opportunity was there. For those who did redeem the time they were given at home, I hope they learned to appreciate the slower pace instead of feeling a need to add back all of their fruitless activities. I realize that idleness is not good either, but this post is geared toward those who never take time to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Too much busyness, even under the guise of ministry, is not a good thing.
The past couple of weeks have been busy for me with visiting family and being available for those who need me, at times feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all as well as blessed that I have this flexibility. I have a small glimpse of what the next couple of months may entail, but I also know that if I don’t spend quality time with Him, I will quickly burn out and render myself useless. Therefore, I look to Him, realizing that I can do nothing unless He strengthens me, but I trust Him to do just that.
Maybe you are young and feel like you still have lots of life ahead of you. If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that no one is promised next year, next month, next week, or even tomorrow. But even if God does grant you another 50 years, it is never too early to allow Him to chip away the rough edges and refine you to reflect more of His image. The older you get, the harder it will become to forego the things that define you.
For myself, I relate to George Younce who used to talk about having more days behind than he had ahead of him. This truth becomes more apparent every year. Although I could live to be in my late 90s, the odds are that I won’t. Therefore, I want to make sure my life counts. I don’t want to enter Heaven by the skin of my teeth, but I want to truly see eyes of love as Jesus says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”