Last year, around this time, the radio station i listen to, #ksbj, in Houston, was promoting an idea. An idea that instead of new year's resolutions, what if we picked one thing we want to spiritually improve in our lives this year. Just one thing to bring before God and say, "please teach me about this and help me to do it."
I deeply dislike new year's resolutions, but this idea i felt good about. To be honest, i didn't really think about it. I remember sitting in my car, driving down the road, listening to the dj describe the concept - probably much better than i did it just now - and before i could even think about it, i just breathed the word, "obedience."
And sitting here, at the end of 2015, looking back, i am so glad for that moment. As a follower of Jesus, and Jesus being someone i generally can't see with my physical eyes or hear with my human ears, learning to hear Him and obey Him, is integral to following Him, and i needed help BAD. Well, i still need help BAD, but this past year of putting my obedience issues before God has resulted in some really big steps forward - or upward, toward God.
With the beginning of a new year SO close, i have had in my heart to pick a new thing. But this year nothing has been coming to mind so easily.
It's amazing what can happen when you just stop and spend a few minutes reading God's words and giving Him a chance to affect your you.
In my Bible reading lately, i have been very hungry for the words of Jesus, specifically. And so i have been reading the gospels. Today, i read in Mark 12, a story that churchgoers like myself have heard or read approximately 1,572,895,677.83 times...
Today, i made myself stop at the end of verse 30. I usually cruise quickly to the second greatest commandment because it's easier to wrap my head around. I may not be very good at it, but at least i can conceptualize what it might look like. But figuring out what it really means in my everyday life to love God, my Lord with all of my heart and my soul and my mind and my strength, is really quite a tall order, and i don't think i know what it looks like.
I asked God to help me, and then i read a passage that we've only read order heard maybe 6 million and 55 times ... the story of the widow's mite.
My eyes stalled on those last six words. All she had to live on.
All she had to live on.
And i just started crying. How heart-wrenching to have nothing more than this to live on, and how much more heart-wrenching to witness this beautiful woman give up even that. Why? Better than why...HOW? How could she do this? She's so much better than me!
I took the passages i read this morning, with me in my heart as i continued my day, and at some point, i might have gotten the point. Maybe there's a reason Jesus brought the widow and her mite to the disciples' attention immediately after explaining which commandment was the greatest. Is this what that love looks like? To love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your soul and all of your mind and all of your strength. My muscles tense when i read those words. What an all encompassing effort. I feel so weak when i think about it. But now at least i have a picture of what it might look like.
Two coins that make a cent... what i have - it is very little.
What He's impressed with - it's just everything i have.
I think i found my one thing.
Lord, show me how i can love YOU more than anything.
more than ME.