Here we are, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. At Christmas we reflect on the incarnation. We reflect on Christ coming as God’s gift to humanity for the salvation of the world. In Christ, wrongs are made right. In Christ, death and sin are defeated. In Christ, reconciliation between God and humanity becomes a reality. In Christ, all that is broken is healed and restored. In Christ we are reminded that what God created is good.
For the New Year, we reflect on our past year–our ups and downs, our relationships, our accomplishments, and failures. We think about changes we want to make—to lose weight, learn a new skill, spend more time traveling, etc.
We look forward to the Holiday Season with anticipation always hoping that it will be filled with good memories and experiences and that we will cherish with friends and family for years to come.
But as we begin to move past the holidays, we often begin to seed our reflections with doubt.
Did I spend enough time with my relatives? Was I kind enough to my family? Did I get everyone the right gift? Have I really done anything this past year of note? Will I really be able to reach that new goal?
When we allow doubts to creep into our thoughts, we begin to self-sabotage our goals and memories. We also lose sight of what really matters.
In Matthew 14, the disciples are in the water on a boat and Peter sees Jesus walking towards them. He gets out of the boat (away from the safety of the ship), and he walks towards Christ on the water. When he begins to doubt his safety, he takes his eyes off Christ and begins to sink. He is rescued by the Lord, and then Jesus says to him “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Peter doubted because of fear. We also tend to doubt ourselves because of fear. We also tend to let fear control our thoughts and actions when we take our eyes off Christ.
I find it interesting that within a few days of Christmas, a specific time to focus on our Lord, we are so quick (myself included), to lose that focus.
This year I don’t plan on making a lot of resolutions, I also don’t plan on nit-picking everything I did or did not do right at family gatherings, but I do pray that I will live by faith more and more. I pray that I will keep focused on Christ and that when I lose focus it will quickly be re-aligned. I also pray the same for you. As believers, we are known as people of faith. Often, we just don’t allow our faith to permeate every aspect of our lives as we should. This year, ask the Lord to help you live a life of faith. To live each day focused on the Lord-focused on living within his will, following the convictions he sends you, and showing his love to those around you. I will do the same.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!