A Year In Review

I always love the New Year and the chance it brings to review and reflect on the previous year and look forward to what lies ahead.  I remember last New Year’s Eve like it was yesterday – sitting on the beach in reflection and anticipation of what this year would hold (for recap read “A Fresh Start“).  It is so amazing to think back on that day and where my mind and heart were and then look at what has transpired since then.  This year has certainly held its challenges as I learned to navigate life solo in my new country and overcame the obstacles in obtaining my residency and completing my house.  In addition, there have been personal “behind the scenes” stories that have certainly stretched and grown my faith journey in many ways.  I’m grateful to be ending the year with resolution to my visa issues and completion of my house.  There are also still other ongoing adventures that began this past year, the outcomes of which remain to be seen.

But although this time last year I really looked at the upcoming year as a “blank slate,” the truth of the matter is I knew at that time that obtaining my residency and completing my house were two big things ahead to be accomplished.  This year, with those things pretty much wrapped up and “in the bag,” I really look at this next year with just about the hugest question mark I think I’ve ever had.  Of course, the truth of the matter is that although most of us think there is at least some sort of “predictability” to our future, that is a false illusion that we live under (which became glaringly apparent to me on 7/11/11, with the watershed moment of my mother’s fall and the subsequent events after, that sharply changed the trajectory of my life from that point forward).  However most of the time, we live our lives with at least some future plans, goals, anticipated events, etc. that we tend to navigate towards in our day to day living.  But for me, there is currently none of that.  I am here “Just Being” and waiting for God to dictate the next move – and I have absolutely no clue what that might be.  Someone asked me the other day if I’d planned a return trip to the states and my answer was, “If my Daddy says so,” and that is truly how I’m living life – one day at a time.

I find it interesting how much we are programmed to think we have to plan out our life.  I constantly hear people talk about their retirement plans and how long it will be before they think they have enough money to make it happen, etc.  Where did we get the idea that we were really in control of all of that?  Whatever has been saved can be gone in an instant – just ask many of the people of Ecuador who lost much if not all of their savings in their banking/currency crash of 1999 (which is what caused them to adopt the U.S. dollar as their current currency).  It also happened in the U.S. during the Great Depression, and it can happen again.

I think about most of the people in history and even around the world today.  How their lives are lived and sustained one day at a time.  One of my friends here (who claims to have no faith) recently said that money is a “necessary evil.”  He speaks truth that even many Christians don’t seem to embrace.  Yet Jesus said,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
(Matthew 6:19-21 & 24-34)

We read it, but do we really believe it?  Never before in my life have I had more realization of living “one day at time.”  There’s no plan, no agenda and in all honesty, there’s not a lot of “provision” unless God comes through for me.  And yet, I feel more of a sense of purpose and more of a sense of security than I ever have – and it is with that, that I look forward with anticipation to what God will do in 2015.

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