The empty squares soothe me and I’m tempted to leave them that way. For this new calendar is so crisp and clean. And last year’s calendar is so…messy and cluttered…
But then I flip through the old pages and see scrawlings that make me smile wide. A miraculous birth. My son’s first tooth lost. My first speaking engagement. And all the memories of travels and friends/family visiting…they are worth noting.
With each New Year, I reflect on notations I made the year previous. Ones I jotted in my calendar, my thanks journal, and in the margins of my Bible. They help me determine if this path I’m on is bringing me closer to Home. Home to my Savior…
And each year, I find my heart lingering on tiny margin notes in a section of my Bible. It was from a sermon I heard years ago based on these verses:
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
The sermon was on how Paul lived life with a definite decision (vs 12). He decided Jesus was the best one to master his life. He chose to live accordingly. Paul also lived with a determined priority (vs 13). He decided one thing to set his priorities on: Focusing ahead towards The One mastering his life while not being deterred by the past (vs 13).
For if you don’t learn to deal with your past, it will determine your future.
Based on my notes in the margins, I summarized the sermon to say:
You must be decisive
or you will live your life by default.
You’ll miss your mark.
Friends, I wonder…do I live each day with my mark in sight? Do I stay focused on where I’m going instead of where I’ve been? Do I keep my eye on the prize as I plan and prepare for what this year might provide?
Like Paul, have I made Jesus the master of my own life?
This New Year, as I mark up the calendar, as I make plans or resolutions or what have you. As I face what 2014 throws my way, I want to make sure I don’t miss my mark.
Let’s be decisive in our claims of being Christ-followers, friends. Let’s ensure each step we take brings us closer to our prize.
My palms press hard as I close the 2013 calendar. And as I glance over my journal and Bible, my heart warms at the realization of where Jesus has brought me this year.
I hang the 2014 calendar on the wall, resolving to live each day with intention. With Jesus living through me. Not to make a mark on the earth so much as to not miss my mark in Heaven. And I retreat to my journal to jot down what this might look like…