Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Handcuffed To God

In 2013 I resolve to ...

In 2013 I resolve to ...


In this new year I promise I will ...

Nuttin.  I got nuttin.

I would love to tell you that I lived such a effortlessly clean life in 2012 that I simply have no need to make any changes.  No improved diet.  No trimming of a few pounds.  No additional work-outs at the gym.  (You don't even believe I go to a gym, do you?  Go ahead.  Call them and check.  618-623-9047.  My membership is under the name "Dough Boy.")  As shocked as you may be the truth is there might be an area or two that I need to tweak.  Just minor stuff, you understand.

I serve on this committee for the Illinois Baptist State Association.  It is called the "Credentials Committee."  We interview new churches wishing to join our little church co-op and make sure they believe what we believe, are willing to contribute to the causes we contribute to, and are just generally nice guys that love God.  I have only been on it for one year of a three year term.  At the end of last years meetings we had to elect new officers.  I sat quietly at the little corner seat that I try to occupy at all of our meetings.  I cast my vote.  Luke would clearly be chairman again (you can be chairman for two years.) The poor soul elected as vice-chairman would almost certainly serve as chairman the following year.  The votes were counted and the results were announced.  I would be the vice-chairman for 2013.

Huh. What just happened?  I don't know anybody on this committee and they don't know me.  What's the deal?  I mentioned that to one person in passing as we were wrapping up and preparing to leave.  She told me it was "The Wisdom Factor."  Yeah, nice try.  I am a virtual stranger to these people.  We had 5 meetings so we had met 5 times.  The Wisdom Factor cannot come into play here.  She looked at me kindly.  Or perhaps condescendingly.  I have trouble telling the two apart.  "Well, you could also call it "The Gray Hair Factor."  You are older than the rest of us and you have gray hair and that makes you look wise.  So we elected you."

Boy are they in for a surprise. While I may not be as dumb as the proverbial "box of rocks" I would hesitate greatly to assign the word "wise" to my mental acuity.  I say dumb things.  (Ask my kids.  Ask my deacons.  Ask my wife.)  I do dumb things.  (In 2007 I lost my car in Cleveland.  In 2006 I couldn't get my Christmas tree to stand up so I stapled it to the wall.  In 2005 I couldn't balance my checkbook so I closed my account and moved to a different bank.  I am not giving you anything more recent than that.  It's all too fresh. Too painful.)

All of this points to one unvarnished truth.  I could come up with a LOT of new years resolutions.  Problem is, I've done it before.  It did not work for me.  So here is what I am doing in 2013.  I am working on a list of things I will pray for throughout the next 12 months.  I will pray and then I will listen.  And then I will do what I'm told.  You see what that does?  It divides the responsibility.  It's on God to decide what I need to do and to tell me.  It's on me to simply obey God.  50/50.  I am intentionally handcuffing myself to a winner.  God.  I have to pray and obey.  He has to inform and empower.  That is such a great improvement over my old method of coming up with things to change and then making them happen.  I'm lousy at that.  But listening and obeying?  I can do that.  So can you.

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15: 13 (NLT)