This is my 30th year. I can't believe that I've been around for almost 30 years! Wow - that made me feel like a fossil or something and yet I have barely even begun to live. When I look back at what has happened in my life and what God has done in and through me in 30 years, I can only look forward with anticipation and excitement at the next 30. It can only get better!
Since last summer I have been praying about this year and asking God that it not be the dreaded 3-0, but rather it will be the beginning of a new chapter. Christ's ministry finally began at 30. It may have only lasted for three and a half years, but what a ministry it was. I have always been a late bloomer so I'm excited to see 30 as the start of my blooming and growing (like the Edelweiss in the song from Sound of Music).
So far however 2006 has been a challenge. I set out goals for myself which are proving difficult to achieve and I have felt more immature and scattered this year so far than I have in a really long time. I was really feeling down yesterday and flipped open my One Year Bible for the day's reading (dated July 29 - I'm a little behind from last year, but working on it - God is faithful).
Romans 12:1-12 jumped out at me and seemed to address all of the issues I've been struggling with lately.
"...I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? This reminded me that I need to take the focus off of me and put it where it belongs - on being a sacrifice acceptable to God that he may use me for his perfect work. By doing that I stop worrying about all the things I feel I lack or need to do or be in order to be successful. I am successful when I continually offer myself as a living sacrifice for the Living God.
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. Wow, I'm not responsible for making myself a new person or by altering the way I think. I am responsible for not being like the world but being like Christ and he will do the transforming. Don't get caught up in needing the right clothes or the right job or even looking the right way to fit the world, again be pleasing to Christ, be his sacrifice.
We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. I've been comparing myself lately to people around me that I think are better in so many different ways and feeling kind of useless and boring. How sad this is to God's heart and how useless and worthless that makes me as His child. This again reminded me that we are all unique and special children of God's that He has created for a very specific purpose and reason. The following verses say that whatever are gifts are to do them with excellence because our abilities come from God himself, the ultimate Creator.
Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. I've had some challenges lately learning to love and accept some people in my life that I should love, but I just don't "get". This is a huge prayer for me that I not only learn to love them because I should, but that I love them because they are awesome and they are God's child and they deserve love as much as I do. There is no judgement, but rather a call to community for those who love Christ. I cannot love Christ and pretend to love them.
God is good!