So, I just finished catching up on several different blogs that I like to read on a fairly regular basis. Most everyone has created very inspiring and encouraging posts on all they are planning to do and expecting God to do over this next year. It was great reading them, but I must confess that after reading the goals and resolutions of others, I was feeling a little inferior.
Many of my fellow bloggers talked about reading more books, writing new books, praying more, exercising more, learning more, being more disciplined about work, family, and personal holiness, and at the end of it all I looked at my journal and thought, "Is that it?!?"
See, I've been spending a significant amount of time over these last few days in a lot of prayer, reading, journaling, and seeking after God about His plans for 2007. What great new things does He want to do in me and through me and what are all the different ways I need to grow spiritually, professionally, academically, physically, and personally? I was really expecting something big, great, a huge challenge and profound revelation of His plans for this next year. And quite honestly, after about a week of this, I'm left with an impression of one word. Imagine.
If you said, "Huh?" your reaction was very similar to mine. "Maybe you misunderstood me, God. I want clear, definable goals, plans, verses, resolutions, visions for this new year, dreams that are planted by You that I can continually go back to, and see. You've given me one word. What do you want me to do with that?!?"
And that's just it. He told me. Imagine. While I definitely see the value and merit to setting personal goals (and I have set some for this next year), my goals are defined and limited by me. Either I create ones that are so extreme and magnanimous that I end up falling short after 2 weeks of pursuing them, or I create ones that are ridiculously easy that I know that I can achieve.
Besides goals, the new year is also when I reflect and remember various dreams that God has placed on my heart, some that have been there for months and years on end. I confess that remembering the dreams can be somewhat of a bittersweet experience, as I deal with the disappointment of another year passing with them unfulfilled. There's a hesitation to dream that this new year may be the fulfillment, as I know the pain of hopes deferred. Maybe it's just better to lay aside the hope and expect nothing.
But God has clearly spoken to me the Truth of my circumstances and this new year. Imagine. He directed me to Eph. 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . ." The answer is not to give up, not to allow discouragement to have its way. Forget "Expect nothing and never be disappointed." I must imagine. What's more, I need to allow Him to imagine for me, and create dreams, goals, visions that are MORE than I could imagine. And for this girl who has been blessed with an extremely active imagination, that's something that gets me excited.
Imagine. May you, too, experience a year that exceeds the limits of your imagination and that is defined by the ONE who's thoughts are limitless.