I’ve recently been asking questions about what the future holds and last week I was at a New Years Training Conference thinking about those same questions and mostly what God has to say about them.
It was a fantastic week not least because of incredible teaching but such wonderful worship. It’s times like this when we’re all standing together singing praises, full of such joy that I think I taste a little bit Heaven. I remember how beautiful is the God we serve and how wonderful it is to serve him together. One line from a song I LOVE stuck out in particular: ‘Bringing reconciliation to a world that longs to know, the affections of a father who will never let them go.’ Isn’t that beautiful? On average a person makes 70 decisions a day, 25,480 decisions a year and about 2 million in their lifetime. That’s terrifying. That’s a lot of decisions to make, some of them very small like do I have ketchup or BBQ sauce? Should I wash my hair today? Some of them a lot bigger like what do I want to do for a job? or where do I want to live? But one choice I can make every day is to know the affections of a father who will never let me go.
John Ortberg said, ‘God’s primary will for your life is not the circumstances you inhabit, it’s the person you become.’ Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in chasing God’s exact will for my life. God cares about each and every one of my choices but cares more about the person they make me. And thankfully, he is in the business of redeeming people in their mistakes and bringing them home. Another song we sang, more familiar to many, comes to a great climax in the last verse with the words, ‘And Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation.’ Personally, I always put the word acclamation in the generic category of ‘proclamation’, ‘exclamation’, ‘declaration’ and all the other ‘…ations’ until I actually looked it up. According to the dictionary, ‘Acclamation’ means ‘loud and enthusiastic approval.’ Synonyms include: praise, applause, ovation. Again, isn’t that beautiful? That one day, Christ shall come and loudly and enthusiastically approve of me? That even in all my mistakes and bad decisions, he will come applauding, not because of any choices I have made but because of the choice He has made. As I start a new year and think about all the choices I will have to make, most of them probably wrong, that’s something I’m happy to shout about. It’s hard to even really comprehend.
I’m very excited about this year, even if I don’t know what it holds yet because singing that well known hymn in a roomful of people that love Jesus reminds me that this life is just leading us home. And, like any good Sat Nav, I will inevitably make a whole load of wrong turnings, have to recalculate and make the odd unexpected U turn but ultimately, it’s not about the circumstances they lead me to inhabit but the person they lead me to become so that I can look back and say I know the affections of my Father who will never let me go.
I’ve been blessed with opportunity this year, a blank page to write my story or a winter’s morning to etch my footprints in the snow but I’m happy not to hold the pen or navigate the walk because wherever I’m heading, I’m heading Home 🙂