It is now 2019! A new year. This can mean different things to different people. Some like to look ahead, set goals and make plans. Some like to reflect on the year that just closed its door. I have chosen the latter. In doing so, a pile of emotions has been poured out and I am not sure what to do with them. It is like a bag of colorful legos strewn on the floor with no guide to tell you how to put them together.
I began by asking myself this question: “What has 2018 represented for me?”
I was thinking that this question could be answered fairly easily and quickly. Boy was I wrong! I sat for a while and the only things that popped into my head was just ordinary, everyday things that I do repetitiously without much thought. At first I became a little sad when all I could think of was that 2018 was full of getting up, getting ready, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, cleaning house, doing laundry, going to bed and repeat. I really sat for a long time and that was all I could think of. Then I became a little angry at myself. I know there was more to 2018 than this. Slowly, things began to pop in my mind. Fun trips, a great concert, two hurricanes, and the passing of a loved one. How did those things not pop into my mind immediately when I began reflecting on 2018?
Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” What does this mean in relation to actually experiencing everyday life? It tells me that I have been made new. Christ lives in me now and defines who I really am. How can trusting that and living by faith in the Son of God change my perspective?
This was something I had to sit with. I really wanted to avoid it and I kept trying to push it away but the pull to actually experience my everyday life (not just live it) was too strong.
A few days later Neil and I were reading in Trust for Today by the Trueface Team. That particular day’s devotion talked about our new identity in Christ. Immediately my mind went back to my question I had been pondering so I read the entry with that curious lens on. It asked about living in the freedom of our new identity verses relentless discontentment in striving. That part stuck out to me. Well, two particular words stuck out to me: relentless discontentment.
I realized that I was working hard to find something but did not know what that something was and I definitely did not know that I already had it!
I am usually trying hard to be content and happy (and to keep those I love content and happy too). If I am honest though, I don’t even know what I’m looking for. I keep expecting to just “feel it” and then the searching will automatically end. So, I guess I keep expecting faith and trust to just happen and then I’ll believe my new identity and there will be world peace! However, the searching never ends. It just becomes a cycle because I do not even know what I am looking for other than a “feeling”.
2018 consisted of me mostly looking for something I already had. I was missing it and not embracing it.
It finally clicked. My hamster wheel run was never ending because I was relentlessly pursuing contentment (even though I did not have a definition for contentment). There is contentment in my new identity. I am searching for something I already have. I cannot experience it if I’m still searching instead of acknowledging and trusting that I already have it.
Question for 2019
That leads to the next question. What does it look like to trust in what I already have, to embrace and acknowledge the contentment found there and experience life? That is the question I bring into 2019. I have put a journal beside my bed so I can write down experiences of 2019 beyond the daily routine. It is not something I have put on a daily checklist or am making myself do. It is just a way to reflect and remember the contentment found in embracing my true identity.
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