December 26 always finds me in the throes of post-Christmas blues. I don’t want to put away the ornaments and take down the tree. I don’t want to put away the Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas books. It’ll be another year before I can bring out the bright red Swedish candlesticks, the Russian nesting dolls, the two foot brass tree with tiny ornaments that represent all the children in the family. I’ll miss the scent of pine, not to mention the cookies, candy and leftovers from the family gathering. At least, I can still enjoy reindeer punch (ginger ale and pomegranate juice).
The only thing that helps pull me out of the doldrums is pondering the new beginning right around the corner: January 1, 2013. A time to reboot. A time to step up to the starting line and begin another marathon. A time to refresh and rejoice.
The new slate keeps my mind occupied with laying out a plan (not written in stone) so I can use whatever time God gives me in a constructive, purpose-filled way. If left on my own, I tend to wander (like a sheep). Hence, the first “category” in my plan has to do with my spiritual life which spills over into every other area; family, friends, work, finance. How I spend each day is how I spend my life, one day at a time. However short or long our life is on this earth is but a blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. Frankly, when I’ve done my time, I’d like to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” and not, “Well, you made it into heaven by the skin of your teeth.” No crown to place at His feet.
The new catch phrase is “intentional” living, possibly a reminder of a saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Hence, I need a plan that will keep me Christ-centered, Bible-centered.
Number 1: Read the Bible, the whole Bible.
Number 2: Continue the Tuesday evening Bible study.
Number 3: Select a new devotional (Rick and I each have one or two and read them aloud during our quiet time together.)
Number 4: Pick a word for the year. (Still praying about what that word should be. Last year it was “worship”.)
Number 5: Pray about everything and give thanks for all He has done. (On-going, all the time, every day, all day, into the night). Actually, prayer starts before Number 1. “Lord, open my eyes and heart to what You want to show me today.” Prayer can give you the desire to do Number 1. “Lord, give me a passion for Your Word.” Worked for me!
These five are not “possibilities” on my list, but “essentials”. They set the tone and lay a course of action for the days ahead. I wasted too many years before I met Jesus. I don’t want to waste a day between now and when He calls me home.
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include A Voice in the Wind, Redeeming Love, and A Lineage of Grace. Visit www.francinerivers.com.
Don’t miss An Exclusive Personal Interview with Francine Rivers written by Ginny Dent Brant