It’s time for that old adage to ring true, “out with the old and in with the new.” Here we are in that strange “limbo” week between Christmas and New Year. A new year is staring us in the face and I love it. Being a forward-looking kind of fella, nothing thrills me more than the prospect of the future. My head is full of projects and goals. I love cleaning things out and putting stuff away. I am a chucker that begins to twitch if I spent too much time with a hoarder. I like putting the Christmas lights up but I absolutely love taking them down. I love putting the old projects behind me and laying out a list of new endeavors. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. So, what’s on your bucket list for 2018? Ready to launch your boat out into unchartered waters? Just a few thoughts before you pull up the anchor.
At the end of Jesus’ short life, He made an astonishing claim. He stated that he had accomplished everything that the Father had assigned Him to do. Even though there were many in Israel that had not come in contact with Him, still He claimed to have fulfilled His mission. Countless lepers lay in misery, suffering continued for many, and yet, Jesus confidently claimed to have finished His ministry. How could this be? He left so much undone.
Life is a series of choices that are played out on a daily basis. Where shall I go today? What should I get done? As much as we try we cannot check off everything we desire to accomplish in a twenty-four-hour period. Our list is as long as our arm and we only have a pinky finger of time each day. What was Jesus’s secret? Every day the Master walked in such harmony with the Father that He worked the works that God desired and purposefully much undone. Jesus followed His Father’s instructions because each moment He was listening for direction.
The apostle Paul reminded the churches in Crete to be careful to maintain good works. He insisted that this “saying” of the early church was a faithful saying concerning those who believed in God. But what is a “good work?” I wish he had given us a list to check off but he didn’t. Instead, Paul points to our faith in God as a means of knowing what good works are. He uses the word maintain as the muscle of the matter. Just as Jesus did, by looking to our Father, we can know each day what needs to be done and what needs to be left undone. By “maintaining” a steady gaze toward Christ each day, the Father works His will in our lives. Let me encourage you to be at peace with leaving things undone. We are most defined by our “no” rather than our “yes” in the decisions we must make in how we spend our day.