A New Calendar Year


When I was younger, I thought by the time a person is in their late 60s, they would have their life together. Spoiler alert to you young ones reading this: you don’t.

Yes, it’s better – much better than the crazy, heady, confused younger years. Many of the questions are settled. There’s great satisfaction in looking back at good decisions that resulted from God’s guidance. Everything about “Point A” and other mile markers along the way got me to this place today.

I’ve always been a seat-of-the pants person. I make plans, but I’m ready to chuck them for something better. I’ve met many goals in my life, but I’ve abandoned many more. I believe my course-corrections have often been by the direction of the Holy Spirit. It looks that way when I view it as hind-sight. I like to call it flexibility. Others might see it as flighty. Is it my own free spirit, or the freedom of the Holy Spirit?

I’ve heard that a Jewish way of approaching the future is to back into it. Looking backward toward the past and remembering what God has done allows us to enter an uncertain future with confidence and faith that God will continue to act on our behalf. We can’t see into the coming days anyway. However, we can be certain He loves us and cares for us. Jesus, as our Redeemer, even redeems our mistakes.

I know it because of the wake behind me.


Today, I read Galatians chapter 5 in The Message. I’ve never spent much time in that version of the Bible, but I’ve decided to read it this year. A few days ago, I was going to read it all straight through, and you see where I ended up this morning. Galatians is pretty far from Genesis. But it was what I needed.

Eugene Peterson said (p. 2122), “When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace…. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” 

“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use our freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.”

“My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.”

Then on page 2123, regarding living God’s way in the freedom of the Spirit, “We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

That’s my prayer for this year – to be attuned to the Holy Spirit as He works in and through me. To be able to see and hear Him more accurately and to manifest His fruit for the benefit of others.

Shalom, Dottie

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