Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End Closing Thoughts

With 2012 rapidly approaching, I find myself torn between somewhat dreamy reflections over the year that is now ending and expectant contemplations regarding the year that is to come.  I've heard a number of people express immeasurable gratitude over the current year's end, but I'm not so sure I'm among the many ecstatic future goers.  I'm happy to be starting a new year and chapter in life, but I'm not in some zealous hurry to jump across the line into 2012.  I guess 2011 just hasn't been so bad that I'm in a mad dash to leave it all behind.  On the other hand, it has had moments that were so painful I didn't think I could cope unless God Himself would come down and scoop me up - in person.  I may even have asked Him once if I could light a bush on fire and pretend it was Him. My pain and inner pyromaniac aside, however, 2011 was actually a blessed year, one that contained more good than bad, greater love than pain, and increased hope and trust in God.  I'm okay that it's coming to a close, but I guess I'm thankful for what it brought, so these are my closing thoughts...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Alternate Path

As 2011 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting back over my life, not only throughout this last year, but also throughout the last 13 years.  There's a significance to that number, but before I go into that I wonder how many of you are where you thought you would be at this juncture of your life?  If you turn behind you and look back into your past, did everything go according to how you planned to get you to where you are? Did you do all the things you thought you would leading up to this day?  Did you do things in such a way that finds you happy today with where you are? Who, from your past, has made it into your present? Now, if you turn and face forward, do you see a future that is built from where you stand today or from where you stood yesterday? Are you doing everything you can today to take you into a brighter tomorrow? Who, from your today, will be with you in your tomorrow? What does your future's path look like?  Is it surrounded by green meadows and clear streams? Or, is it covered in immovable boulders and barren trees? Do you even see your future at all? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dare to Hope

Not too long ago, I went through one of my most trying tests of faith yet, and as I reflect over the year that is now rapidly coming to a close I find myself humbled and grateful for the pain that was, is, and is to come. It's not that I enjoyed suffering or look forward to it's future arrival, but I have discovered that the pain I recently endured subsided, and through it, because of it, I'm closer to God than I ever was before.  In a nutshell this most recently trying test of faith arrived in the form of misplaced hopes and desires that gave birth to a tragic misconception of reality.  I allowed myself to become immersed in a heart vision that was never God's vision, at least not for today.  I put my hope into my own idea of what was and should be.  I was wrong - and when I found out, it hurt like what we imagine the pain of hell to feel.  Have you ever become so convinced and so certain that God was doing something in your life only to find out that you missed the mark?  Well, I missed the mark in a situation recently and it caused me agonizing pain, heavy doubts, and troubled thought patterns. Life turned very dark for a number of days, but He led me through it and now again, I dare to hope...