“What are your hopes for next year?” my husband asks.
With a sense of horror I realise I don’t have any. Just a sense of fear that I’m not quite ready to tackle another year.
It’s Christmas Eve and we’re sitting on the couch by the light of the tree, mint tea in our hands and blankets covering our toes. Somewhere in all the doing we forgot how to just be. For the first time in a long time we just sit there, while the steam rises from our mugs and are quiet. At first the stillness feels awkward and strange. Like hugging a stranger or eating cotton candy.
And then eventually, out of the quiet come our true selves. We had forgotten how to check in with our souls, to give them room to breathe and think. In all the activity we left them parched and unattended to. No wonder it’s taking them awhile to come out of hiding— they feel abused.
Somewhere in all the doing I got lost.
It’s my own fault. I check my text messages, answer emails, update my status, drive there, meet that person, click links that make me chuckle or decide to go vegan, watch an endless stream of Netflix, complete this project, go to that meeting… It’s like I’m afraid of being bored or alone.
But being still isn’t the same as being bored, and we’re never really ever alone.
No wonder next year feels scary. Not because it holds anything horrible (that I know of!), but because my resources feel low or gone.
This is the place I find myself in at the end of 2015. I need better promises to hold on to, and humbler goals if I want to be a part of greater things. My worth doesn’t lie in my work, and fulfilmentnever comes from ignoring your soul and the One who created it.
What a hard way to learn good lessons.
I need better promises to hold on to, and humbler goals if I want to be a part of greater things.
I’m not sure how the end of this year finds you. Maybe you’ve done a better job of quieting you heart before God than I have. Maybe you feel just as overwhelmed by the prospect of doing your life as I do. With two days before I go back to work for another year, it’s a bit late to go on a retreat or disconnect from society. But friend, it’s not too late to plant our feet in rich and nourishing promises.
It’s not too late to invite your soul back into your life, and to block out the noises that use up your energy. We have a loving Father who is ready to equip us for the lives he’s given us to lead. He promises is to be food to our hungry souls and shelter for our exposed and weary limbs.
Let’s practice being still, and trade ours fears in for everlasting promises.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26: 3-4
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11: 28-30
Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.