Allow me to add another goal/ desire or resolution to your list of things to do or change in the New Year: pray without ceasing.
On New Year’s Eve my friends and I were trying to request an Uber. I say trying because there was a whole discussion on the pickup location and the route to be used. Somehow we ended up discussing how low the fares have gotten (relative to how much you used to pay for a cab about two years ago). The discussion then turned into how we feel bad paying that fare knowing the driver had gotten lost for like fifteen to twenty minutes: driving around, using up fuel with no one to compensate him for it. Then I wondered how these people get lost even after you have pinned your location, especially considering that the app automatically sends directions in a ‘map’. In other words, if this guy just followed the directions, he would not get lost. He knows this. Instead, he still opts to keep calling you for directions even though he has them. Others altogether turn off the GPS and then call you every two seconds to ask the same thing.
We often behave like these drivers in matters pertaining to our day-to-day lives.
We know the destination and know where we are. However, we still have to pick a route to get from where we are to the desired destination. When making New Year’s goals/ resolutions we know where we are as the year begins. We know where we want to be before the year ends, but we never put thought into the route we are taking; the end justifies the means. So we will probably stumble through the year trying to get to the destination. While we are at it, we will waste fuel and mileage that we cannot recover. Though we may still end up at the destination, we will have wasted and lost a lot.
So my challenge, for myself and for you this year, is to have your first goal as praying without ceasing. You see, our journey is already determined by God. He knows the beginning and the end. His Word says that He knew us even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. The all-knowing, all-sufficient God is the Alpha and the Omega. Better still, He has given us access to His throne of grace and mercy. We can pray (commune) with Him. We can ask Him for direction and listen for instruction. Isn’t that amazing? For me, it feels like a burden is lifted off my shoulders. I do not have to guess my way through life. If I go to Him, He will graciously send me the ‘pin location’ for my destination and how to get there. If I feel lost on the road, I can ask Him for clarity. I can constantly have Him on the line asking where to turn, where to avoid, when to proceed, how far away I am, etc. The great thing is that He will not get irritated by the questions. Unlike my friends and I who wonder why the Uber driver can’t just follow his GPS and hasten his arrival, God does not want to go it alone. Simply put, He is not man. He enjoys our dependence on Him.
When we realize that we are only stewards of the life we live, we stop going ahead of God. We stop doing everything in haste. We stop leaning on our own understanding. We start inquiring more of the Lord. We slow down and actually wait on the Lord. He is no longer an ‘endorser’ of our plans but the author and initiator of our plans. He has the bigger picture. He has the blueprint. He is in eternity: He knows the past, present and future. If we follow His instructions, then we know that our future is secure. The only way to do this is to commune with God and that is through prayer.
So, before we save ‘x’ amount of money, buy that car, own that home, move jobs, go back to school, start that business, start or join that ministry, start that family, etc, why not pray first? After we start on all those goals, why not constantly ask for direction? When we finally get to that destination, we will surely give thanks and all glory will be to God because were it not for Him, we know we would not be where we are.
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)