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Sunday, December 30, 2012

a new years prayer

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;
     I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
      like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

                                                                     ~Psalm 131

I think this might be my prayer for the New Year.  It reminds me of what is really important, and what God seems to desire as far as my outlook and my attitude is concerned.  Which appears to be the polar opposite of everything the culture and the world encourage me to pursue.  In a culture that says make a name for yourself, achieveperform, jockey for position, be ambitious, accomplish much; this perspective can seem odd, if not diametrically opposed.  Can you imagine if someone asked about your goals for the new year, or what your New Year's resolutions are, telling them, "Well, I'm trying to keep my heart from being too high or proud, trying not to get too full of myself.  And I'm hoping to try not to be lifted up in my own eyes, or the eyes of those around me.  I'm actually kind of hoping that I become smaller, less significant, and less visible.  I want to stay out of the limelight, and be about the things that no one ever really sees.  I want to make sure that I don't occupy myself--my heart, mind, and soul--with things that are simply too great and marvelous for me.  I'm actually kind of hoping that my soul will be stilled, calmed and quieted; like a weaned child with its mother; totally content just to be, totally dependent on God and His great care.  I really just want to be held by Him and loved by Him.  I don't want to put my hope in what I do or achieve or accomplish; in my own gifts , abilities, and efforts.  I want to put my hope totally in the Lord, both now and forevermore."  What kind of response do you think that line of thinking would get? 

But that is what I long for, and more importantly what I think God longs for in me.  Just to be His.  Not to be heroic, or epic, or wonderful, or legendary; not popular, or admired, or successful, or productive...but just simply His.  And everything else will take care of itself.  Happy New Year.

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