Everybody is making New Years Resolutions – those things we make as a fresh year begins, then don’t do after a month or two. I’m as bad as anyone else (I don’t even remember what I resolved last year), but can’t help making some every year.
Since a few years ago when I read how young Jonathan Edwards made a long list of life resolutions which he would read frequently as reminders, I made a list of my own. I would add more resolutions as lifed happened and I learned more things, regardless of what time of year it was. But that list has since become rather dusty – haven’t even glanced at it in almost a year. It’s a new year, so what a good time to resurrect the whole idea!
I won’t post them all here, but here are a few ramblings that have been hard on my mind this past week. I will turn into resolutions on my list when I figure out how to say it more succinctly!
Humility. There is too little of this in the world – it’s lack in my own life not excepted. Reject one-upmanship. Don’t make people feel inferior to you. If you suspect this happened, do and say things that will remove this.
Build Trust. Lately I’ve been thinking of a concept I heard from Marvin K. Mayers. In our interactions with others, Mayers talks about something called “the prior question of trust”: Is what I’m doing, thinking or saying building trust or undermining trust? Trust is a heavy thing. We all need people in our lives we can trust, but too often they can’t be found, or could be but we don’t know it. I hope for people to trust me – and I be trustworthy enough not to let them down. So this year I hope to build more trust with every person I meet.
Be present. Don’t dwell on the past, which is done, or suffer angst over the imaginary future. Every moment of life is a sacred gift to be kept. But don’t forget the past or ignore the future. Everything in balance!
Read more. That explains itself after looking around this blog a bit. I love to read and even review books here, but I keep starting books without finishing them. I’m in ten or so now. Time to get cracking on this! Many new books await me besides.
Who God is. It’s amazing to me how we believe in God, but lack in seeking to find out more of who he is. This is the Supreme Being here. He’s more intriguing than everyone else on earth combined, because he’s the source of it all. He formed the universe. He made you and me. He invented love, or is love. Fascinating. I’ve got to get to know this Person better.
We’ll see how this goes. What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Whenever a natural disaster happens there is always questioning of where is God. Some immediately say without a pause that the disaster was an act of God’s wrath against sinners and perhaps dance in happiness over it (as a recent viral youtube video showed). Others scream there is no God and proceed to insult this supposedly non-existent God as sadistic, horrible, mean, wicked, etc. Both of these responses are rather wrong-headed, but the real answer remains difficult to comprehend. When things like this happen, I myself am grieved and beseech God quite a bit about it, knowing that God is love and even “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33.11). It helps to know God is grieved too, even if it were an “act of God” for judgment.
If reading this CNN article and looking at the pictures of the wreckage, death, and suffering doesn’t break your heart, you don’t know the heart of God. It gave a good summary of the events – but the pictures! I looked at them all and was very grieved.
The best short article I found on the issue is from Gotquestions.org “Why Does God Allow Natural Disasters, i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis?” By all means read it.
But I will say this: in the uncertainty of events like these, there are some things we do know, and can take hope in – God is good. We have been given more than enough proof of that. As Jesus points out, God allows the sun for the evil and good, the rain for the just and the unjust (Matthew 5.45). People are given so many good things in life, and even the very poor; but credit is not given to God far too often. Still, God is “kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6.35). We know from Scripture that some natural events are specifically sent by God (the storm over Jonah’s boat comes to mind), but it’s also arguable that the disastrous weather patterns we have today are because of the advent of evil in the world and are allowed by God in this temporary age of fallenness until He returns to redeem all things.
But there is one thing that makes any condemnation of God most obviously bankrupt – the fact that God Himself visited earth in human form and suffered along with us. He experienced all the pain humanity experiences, in order to save them by dying on a cross. Yet people still reject Him! I think God has much more of a right to question our love than we do to question His. What’s more, many good things can come out of natural disasters – in Haiti many people believed on Christ and are thus eternally saved because of this temporary earthquake. I hope Japan will see the same.
We don’t know all the answers, but we do know that God does. And God guarantees this fallen world will be redeemed someday, and evil banished. All we can do is trust Him.