Resolved, again

While New Year’s is my favorite holiday, I don’t do resolutions. It is certainly right and good to have goals and plans, all with the intention of improving oneself, I just don’t want the pressure nor the guilt. I know I will fail so I just avoid it up front.

Years and years ago, I’m talking eons, way way back when my first blog was a mere babe, I wrote a little something about my New Year’s resolution and linked it at a blog carnival hosted by a fairly prolific blogger. Anyone remember blog carnivals?!? Anyway, I wrote about resolving to not have any resolutions, save one: to know Christ. Thanks to that post and to Laurel, the host of the carnival, my little blog made its first steps out of obscurity. Not so very far from obscurity, mind you, but after that my blog had a few more readers beyond my husband and my mom.

I thought about that post and that resolution this week. I wasn’t Jesus-juking when I wrote it; to my knowledge the term “Jesus-juke” hadn’t even been coined yet! Rather, I sincerely meant what I wrote: I desired to know Jesus with a single-minded pursuit. My life was crazy then, with four kids all at home, and the corresponding laundry and school lunches and car line and crazy busy schedules. And yet I sought to have my life framed by one thing, indeed this is what I sought: to know Christ there in my real, albeit crazy life.

I miss it, that singular passion. I’ve forgotten it somewhere along the way. No doubt I grew tired or lazy or both. Certainly I began to fret over things like empty nest and transition and vocation and calling and identity, overlooking the truth that seeking Christ lays all these to rest.

The community group I’m in at my church is going through True Community by Jerry Bridges. Sunday night we discussed what it means to abide in Christ. Bridges writes,

So often we teach that abiding in Christ means spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. In so doing, we may tend to neglect a proper emphasis on Christ Himself. It is not the Word of God itself or even prayer that supplies the power and grace to live the Christian life. It is Christ who is our life. The Word of God and prayer are the primary means by which the Holy Spirit mediates Christ’s life to us. But we must never so emphasize the Word and prayer, which are God’s instruments of grace, that we lose sight of Christ, who is the source of our life.

Jerry Brides, True Community

Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not because I’ve spent so much time in prayer and Bible study that I’ve neglected knowing Jesus, but Bridges’ point is well taken nonetheless. The doing, the fretting, the busy-ness, the laziness, even good and noble pursuits like teaching and serving–all can serve to distract and to cause me drift. I forget Jesus is MY LIFE. As the writer of Hebrews exhorts, I must pay much closer attention (Heb. 2:1), laying aside what entangles and distracts, and run with endurance as I look to Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2).

So I want to return to that resolution from way back when. I say with Paul: I want to know Christ. I want to be found in Him. Nothing compares! (Phil. 3:9-10)