“Off with the old and in with the new,” is the common mantra as the calendar turns to the New Year. It is easy to say but not so easy to do. Each year my buddy would draft a plan to not let the busy-ness of life dictate his priorities. But then, each year he would find himself caught up in busy-ness, reacting to circumstances instead of working the plan.
Things were busy last spring. The schedule was tight yet his grown kids were coordinating a trip to Ireland for the family. He was frustrated that he would not be able to join his family on the trip. Then his schedule started opening up and he was convicted that it took divine intervention to open his eyes to see how right priorities had been compromised due to busy-ness. The kids were coordinating the trip in honor of their parents’ anniversary and he was too busy to appreciate the initiative. The family made the trip and all were blessed beyond measure by the time together. One of the many glimpses of God’s glory granted on the trip came at a pub – yes, God shows up at pubs in Ireland. The family was eating dinner and enjoying a pint when my buddy realized that three hours had passed. They were enjoying the time together and the depth of conversation so much that he paused to worship God for this special time with the family he had been blessed with. And he had almost missed it!
In with the New: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” – Ephesians 4:22-24. It sounds easy enough but the old self sure likes to hang on – old habits, old priorities, old tendencies and old attitudes of mind. Old family influences can also play havoc with the new self until you truly regard your former way of life in the light of the word of God. Only then are the eyes opened up to what relationship with Jesus offers and how we are to live that relationship in marriage & family.
My friend was reflecting on the trip this past week as the calendar turned to the New Year. He praised the Lord for the blessing of family and resolved to operate under the word of God by not allowing busy-ness to dictate priorities again.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life. May I never take them for granted. Thank You for interceding when I allow wrong priorities to dictate life. The old self is most comfortable in the midst of busy-ness corrupted by deceitful desires. But Your word is very clear in the call to prioritize relationship with You, and to learn to live that relationship in marriage and family. Grant me strength to put on the new self, to be more like You in true righteousness and holiness. Amen.
A faithful father lets go of the old and puts on the new self in Jesus the Christ.