So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Romans 12:1-2 (emphasis mine)
This isn't the only verse that goes with the theme, but it is the one for right now, and right now is all I need to be concerned with. I also wrote yesterday that I unlike other years, I don't really have a list of plans and goals as I normally do in January. I have been reading a good deal about living life without goals, instead cultivating habits and enjoying life in the moment. I was intrigued by the idea, but uncertain if that was the path for me this year. I mulled it about in writing, in my journal and in prayer and today I read something that confirmed what I had already suspected: indeed this year will be guided by continued attention on God, not based on my own whims, will or wishes.
Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God's righteousness and less and less attention to our own; finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals but by believing in God's will and purposes; making a map of the faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasms. It is out of such reality that we acquire perseverance. -- Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
It's going to be a different kind of year for me. The planner, the lister, the worker will be learning new patterns of living, of trust, of experience. My four guiding tenets for everything will be Kindness, Wisdom, Joy and Prosperity (riches), but how these will manifest will require my constant attention on the Giver of all good things. I'm excited and nervous and above all hopeful.
Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.
And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or a fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what He says He will do...It is willingness to let God do it His way in His time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. --Eugene Peterson
Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word. Give my request your personal attention, rescue me on the terms of your promise. Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you've taught me the truth about life! And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you've given is right. Put your hand out and steady me since I've chosen to live by your counsel. I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice. Psalm 119: 168-170