Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happily Newly Yearly

As a writer I know better than to use too many “ly” words. I'll gladly explain to fervently studious yet naively ambitious writers that eliminating those tritely placed and descriptively unneeded extras will get rid of the superfluously posed content we often unnecessarily pen when attempting to make our writing more beautifully meaningful. Of course, what I advise others not to do, I sometimes do myself. Everybody needs an editor.

As in writing, we often see the mistakes and poor decisions others make, but seldom notice the same foibles in our own lives. Sometimes we don’t know any better. It hasn’t been that long since more experienced writers were gracious enough to educate me. But most of the time it’s just easier to inventory the faults of others than to catalog our own shortcomings.

Except for this time of year. This is when we think about how to better ourselves. We will self-improve. Auto-correct. We’ll make a plan and it will happen. We’ll lose weight. We’ll be kinder. Save more money. Give more money. Read all the way through one of those Bible-in-a-year plans. Serve at church more. Pray more. Share our faith more. We’ll be resolute. Not cowardly and inexpressively passive in proclaiming the passionately devoted and victoriously committed hope to which we seriously cling in answering the call of Christ to reach the world with the gospel.

But next week, well, you know how it will go down. Maybe you’ll eat right. You’ll keep your mouth shut when someone does you wrong. You’ll read your daily Bible chapters. You’ll talk to your neighbor about how you can’t believe another year has gone by. Maybe you’ll invite him to church. Then you’ll go inside and wonder if you should have asked him what he knows about Jesus. But surely if he wanted to know more, he’d ask. So you put it out of your mind and go eat another carrot stick. Maybe with a little onion dip on it.                                                                         
Oh, wait, I’m considering my own life here. And I’m going to be truthful about it. I will try. But I will fail. I need an editor. Not just when I write, but when I breath. When I walk out my front door. When I plan my next move. When I come up with strategically thought-out but persistently unreliable motivationally inept schemes to improve myself.

This is my life. The one I laid down since Christ gave up His life to free me from death. I’m raised to walk in newness of life with Him. I might not get it all right in this lifetime. This time next year, I’ll plan all over again. But The Editor is patient and forgiving. He knows I’m not too bright. And I know he’ll clean up this overly red-inked habitually erred manuscript I recklessly tear through page after page, year after year. Maybe by my release date, I’ll learn something. God knew all along he’d have to correct every stroke of my pen.

Happy New Year. I hope you keep your resolutions. As for me and mine, I’m not holding my trembly breath. But God willing, 2019 will carry me nearer to His flawless plan.

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