So, the beginning of a New Year.
Full of potential, hope, possibilities.
A little bit oppressive, like a blank page. I used to do a lot of drawing, years ago, and I stopped because I didn’t enjoy it that much. I used to like that I had drawn a picture, I just didn’t like drawing it very much. I was always a bit overwhelmed by a large sheet of white paper and afraid to begin because I might mess it up and waste it. After a while, when the picture was going well, I’d become nervous to carry on lest I make a mistake and spoil it.
A New Year feels a bit like that. At the moment I’m staring at a large sheet of pristine white paper and I’m not sure where to start.
The only thing that’s different is that this year my perspective has changed just a bit. About as much as the difference in the point of view of the person next to me at the theatre – not as much as the person sitting eight rows away, or in the stalls if I’m in the circle; not as much as that. But still, I am closer to acknowledging the following:
- I can make a mark on the white sheet of paper and you’re proud of me just for making it.
- I can make a mistake and all is not lost.
- Because of you and your forgiveness there is always another sheet of paper.
- If I can learn from the Artist, I might become better at drawing.
- If I can learn to let you guide my hand, the marks I make might become more confident.
The thing that sums it up for me I think is that I am always, invariably delighted when one of my daughters brings me a drawing that they have done for me. Sometimes they are masterpieces, sometimes not masterpieces, but always done with love and enthusiasm and presented to me as precious. If I can do that for you, this year, Lord God, my Father, then I know that you will pin up my attempts at art on your heavenly noticeboard with the pride of a Daddy whose child is wanting to please them.
Because I do want to please you, God. I want to step out in faith this New Year. I want to make bold marks, make drawings with a steady hand and my eyes fixed on you. I want to create something. I want to leave the world a different place from the way it was before I existed (and in a good way). I want to grow and change. I want to carry on learning how to listen to you, to spend more time in your company and to make more space for you in my heart.
I want to be more like you.
I know that you don’t have only one plan for me; one course of action that is the Right Direction and if I miss a turn, I’ve blown it forever. I need reminding of this on a regular basis.
I know that there are many junctions in life where you honestly don’t mind which direction I take.
I know that you’ve equipped me with a brain and feelings and an instruction manual and common sense (sometimes) so that I can make wise choices about my direction in life.
But by the same token I also know that I am indecisive and poor at map-reading and not so good at taking directions so I’m asking you to hold my hand and show me the route that might make the most difference.
I think we can do it together.
So here’s to the New Year.
I trust you, Lord.