“He was in the world, and thought the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:10-12)
It all starts with recognizing. So much of the spiritual life revolves around what we recognize and what we don’t. We cannot receive someone (or something), if we do not first recognize that they are there. And the receiving is vital to the believing and the becoming.
So maybe the question we should ask, as we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next, is “What, O Lord, do you want us to recognize?” How do we need to recognize what God has been up to over the year gone by, and how do we need to recognize what he wants to do in the year ahead? How has God been at work within and around us? What people or things or events brought us to life? And what disrupted or disturbed us? What dysfunctional patterns and habits need to be broken, and what godly habits and practices need to be cultivated?
For how can we ever hope to take God up on his constant invitation to a deeper, fuller, richer life, if we don’t stop and recognize, both the life we are currently living, and the life he longs to live in and through us? So, let’s take some time over the next days and weeks to do just that.