"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." ~Romans 1:16

Monday, February 24, 2014

a word for the year

The room was quiet as she spoke gently into the microphone.  She had gathered us all together in a way that was different from past sessions, and we all felt that something important was about to happen.  She was sitting along the edge of the stage along with many of the kids.  Some were on the floor right beside it.

I sat on the floor by my team, my mind cluttered with thoughts of the show about to happen and a million other things. And then our kind leader spoke these words:

"What we do here is meant to reflect Christ. But how can we reflect Christ if we don't know Christ? And how can we know Him if we don't spend time with Him?  I just want us to take a few minutes together and think about who God is and what He's done.  I think most of us will know this song, and if not, do your best to listen and focus on the words of this song."

The familiar melody came gently from the speakers, the strums of a guitar leading to the first few words... The splendor of the King....

I closed my eyes and sang along, feeling this whoosh of peace and clarity rush over me.  Everyone was singing and some were harmonizing to the chorus... How great is our God! Sing with me! How great is our God! And all will see how great, how great, is our God!...

It was a beautiful, sweet time, and I felt so grateful to our wonderful AC for leading us that way - for helping us in the midst of the chaos to look up and see what was really important.  At that moment, nothing else mattered.  Our songs and dances and skits and choreography and costumes and performances weren't what was most important.  He was.  Oh how I needed that reminder.

It is so tempting to look back and see only failure, to look forward and see only unanswered questions, to look at the current situation and see only a mess of "almosts" and "not-quites" and "not-sure-yets."

It's time to start looking up.

So I know that it's February 24, almost two months late, but I've decided to join many others and choose my word for 2014: upward.

"How can we reflect Christ if we don't know Christ? And how can we know Him if we don't spend time with Him?"  This year, I want to spend so much more time looking up than anywhere else.  I want to spend time with my Jesus, my Savior, my King.  I want to become so well acquainted with Him that I don't have to think twice about whether or not everything is going to work out, because I know Him, The One who is holding it all together.  This year, I want to delve into the beauty, the wonder, the strong-hold that I have in Christ.  I want to shift my eyes time and time again - as much as it takes - until I can say that He is my treasure, the only thing I need.  And one day, I will be with Him in glory, and it will be better than anything I can imagine, and anything I can see or understand now.

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." - Colossians 3:1-4

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And watch the word grow dim standing next to Him
In the light of His glory and grace
So look up! Look up!
This is a song about the morning, after a long night.
So look up! Look up!
This is a song about believing it's gonna be alright
When you turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
I wanna grow dim standing next to Him
In the light of His glory and grace

What about you?  Do you have a word for 2014?

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