I'm thinking about this new year 2008. I'm thinking that it's time for new starts, new attitudes, new ways of connecting with God and others. I'm thinking that there needs to be more focus on the "wow" than on the "how" of living and loving both God and others.
I'm thinking my heart needs the "wow" much more than the "how"!
It may be a personality thing! It may be how your or my brain is wired to some extent. But I'm wondering if we stay living in the "how" because the "wow" is so much scarier. The "how" can be an escape from risk. To live in the "how" of life just requires the facts. It means we can live by rules and plans, set goals (Nothing wrong with that!) and not deal with what drives the "how" living we are more comfortable with.
Facts and the "how" are good and necessary. Blowing off the "how" and living totally in the "wow" brought the bohemic lifestyles of the 1970's. Blowing off the "how" and living totally in the "wow" brings the hedonism of this new 21st century. Walking across the news on a regular basis are outstanding examples of living only in the "wow" - Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and most recently Pamela Anderson. Pamela Anderson decided to party New Year's Eve and left her two sons (ages 10 and 11) alone in a hotel room in Los Vegas.
We need the "how" to balance the "wow" but without any "wow" the "how" becomes pretty mundane. Hopefully this isn't sounding too much like a Dr. Seuss book!
We need "how living." BUT we also need "WOW living"! It's living beyond the "how" into the "wow" that pushes my heart to live and love even when it's hard, even when I don't really want to think more of someone else's needs than my own. The "wow" takes a lot more work than the "how."
Hiding in the "how" of living is ever so much easier and feels safer. There is none of the hard work of relationships, of conflict resolution or of loving and serving others. The "how" feels like order and control. Living in the "how" allows me to set rigid boxes for life. It is a whole lot easier and much less messy to stick to "how-living." There's just one small problem: that's not the way of the restored heart!
God restores my heart (and yours) so we can live in the balance of both the "how" and the "wow"! He sets our hearts free to live and love in ways that include the "how" but "pop" with the "wow"!
For 2008 I want God to push my being-restored-heart beyond "how-living" to "wow-living"! The first step on that path is finding the Gospel and its truths new and fresh every day for my heart. I need God's forgiving grace for my own heart every day. Then and only then can I live in God's gripping grace to love and serve others in "wow-living"!