Offering This Year (September 4, 2012)

…Opening To…

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness. (Mother Theresa)

…Listening In…

You crown the year with your goodness; your paths overflow with rich food. Even the desert pastures drip with it, and the hills are dressed in pure joy. (Psalm 65:11-12; context)

…Filling Up…

Yesterday, we talked about the fact that giving our entire selves to God is actually easier than giving smaller bits of our lives to God. This seems paradoxical, but I think by the end of the week, you’ll see what I mean. The general rule here is this: the more specific we are in what we offer to God, the harder it is to give.

So first we’ll move through something less general than our entire lives but more general than most things – this school year. Giving an entire year of our lives to God is harder, I think, than giving ourselves to God because we can figure out pretty well the trajectory of the next year. We know the basic shape the year will take. Of course, there will be some curveballs, but that always happens. Offering a fairly known quantity to God takes more effort than offering the amorphous series of unknown events we call our lives. The former takes more effort because the offering involves planning.

Whenever you offer something to God (we’ll use “this year” as an example), ask yourself this series of questions. What does God yearn for me to do this year? How would this year look different if I were to offer it to God? At the end of the year, how will I have changed for the better because of God’s presence in my life?

Then bring each of these questions to God in prayer. Search your inner depths for the answers because God most often whispers to us from those depths. Then write them down. Stick them on your mirror or list them on the desktop of your computer screen. Offering this year to God brings with it this series of goals that you will have discerned through prayer. Use those goals to orient and prioritize your life for the next year. And at the start of the following year, do it again.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are with me through each passing year for you are timeless and eternal. Help me to discern your will for me for the next year and give me the strength to live it out. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, hopeful that I will have the desire and grace to give myself to you.

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