In the middle of preparing to return from Christmas vacation, I began to feel some trepidation. I love my job. I love my family. I love almost all the responsibilities I’ve been given (except maybe toilet cleaning and laundry). But for some reason I was not excited to enter back into the daily life that I’m used to.
I’m sure this is normal. Some people call it Christmas hangover. Some say it’s just the fear of not meeting whatever New Year’s Resolutions you’ve made. For me, it just felt blah. I wasn’t excited about anything. And I’m usually the one trying to get other people excited about new beginnings.
So after trying to psychologize the whole mess, I finally remembered to ask the Lord what was going on in my heart. I’m so used to being a go-getter that it troubled me to be less than excited about reentering my world. He led me to 1 Corinthians 13. Not initially encouraging. Have you read that passage? It’s really a downer if you’re looking at it from the angle of what you should be doing and are definitely failing at every day. It’s a good thing He was there with me to offer insight.
Everybody focuses on verses 4-8. When I backed up and read what Paul had to say about how nothing else matters but love, the Lord spoke. I thrive on innovation. I like to try new things. I get excited about my plans. But without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, my innovation and plans are clanging symbols. Without His love compelling my life and ministry, I might as well be doing nothing.
So this is where I think my little epiphany applies to all of us. You may have made New Year’s Resolutions. You may have big plans for 2015. Or you may just be riding the wave. Either way, His love – the love without which everything loses meaning – must be the driving force. I cannot love the way He loves. My love is not even love at all when compared with His. So my calling every day is to wake up and beg. Beg for the daily bread of love for Him, love for my family, love for others. I don’t have it in me. He has to do it. So all my well-laid plans will fall flat without it. All my hopes for the successes of this year will get completely buried without it.
And His ultimate plan for me is not the fulfillment of my goals – it’s the fulfillment of the Great Commission. That should be my ultimate goal every day. If it’s not, I better make some new Resolutions.