Just thinking about a new year and the room that creates for doing or being something new. We all, me included, want to see changes in our daily lives that are rather large sometimes. We may want to loose weight or read more. We might want to use our seatbelts more or drink less, be more active or slow done our lives a bit. So we use the new year as kind of an excuse to introduce those changes into our lives. But we do it in kind of a forced way.
We expect a lot from ourselves, and most times we let ourselves down with these grandiose ideas.
One of the reasons we disappoint ourselves is because we take too big a bite out of life. We want the change or the new discipline to happen now, right away. And we want it fully formed immediately. When it doesn't happen that way we quickly loose hope. Then we go back to our old ways faster than you can say, "Please pass the white bread..."
This week I came across a parable, written by Megan McKenna in "The Arrows of God," (Orbis Press, 1994), which might help us a bit with this thought.
There was a woman who wanted peace in the world and peace in her heart and all sorts of good things, but she was very frustrated. The world seemed to be falling apart. She would read the papers and get depressed. One day she decided to go shopping, and she went into a mall and picked a store at random. She walked in and was surprised to see Jesus behind the counter...She looked again and again at him, and finally got up her nerve and asked, “Excuse me, are you Jesus?”? “I am.”? “Do you work here?”? “No,”? Jesus said, “I own the store.”? “Oh, what do you sell in here.”? “Oh, just about anything!”? “Anything?”? “Yeah, anything you want. What do you want?”? She said, “I don"t know.”? “Well,”? Jesus said, “feel free, walk up and down the aisles make a list, see what it is you want, and then come back and we"ll see what we can do for you.”?
She did just that, walking up and down the aisles. There was peace on earth, no more war, no hunger or poverty, clean air, peace in families and peace in the heart. She wrote furiously. By the time she got back to the counter, she had a long list. Jesus took the list, skimmed through it, looked up at her and smiled. “No problem.”? And then he bent down behind the counter and picked out all sorts of things, stood up, and laid out the packets. She asked, “What are these?”? Jesus replied, “Seed packets. This is a catalogue store.”? She said, “You mean I don"t get the finished product?”? “No, this is a place of dreams. You come and see what it looks like, and I give you the seeds. You plant the seeds. You go home and nurture them and help them grow and someone else reaps the benefits.”? “Oh,”? she said. And she left the store without buying anything.”?
Those who have ears to hear, let them listen.
Most of these profound deep changes in our lives come as a result of small seed like changes we may make on a regular basis. Small choices made each day makes a lifetime of good choices. And changes.
So, if you were to plant some seeds in your life this year, seeds that will grow into big lifetime changes, what kinds of seeds would you plant?
Think that way, rather than the big change way. Plant some choice seeds this new year, and see what grows from them.
The question remains, what do you want to grow in your life? And what are the seeds that will grow that for you.