Happy New Year! By now we have all targeted our New Year's resolutions. It is day seven of the year and many of us have already lost the list! One of my resolutions this year is to slow down and enjoy life! I find it easier said than done. Maybe you can identify with me. Life is busy and moves fast!
Dr. James Dobson, the long-time founder and host of the popular radio program Focus on the Family made this sobering statement, "As l cross this great nation for meeting and ministering on faith and family issues, I have observed a frightening conflict that is coming against and changing the atmosphere of the family and the culture in which we live. Many people are living life in the state of exhaustion. There is and there will continue to be a great price that comes with this way of living."
This lifestyle of over commitment, running around and never being home for many is taking its toll. We see the stress, strain and frustration in the lives of men, women and children. It seems that no generation is exempt from an overloaded life.
Rev. John Brady
Have you ever felt that you are spinning 10 plates when you should only be spinning five?
This state of exhaustion is affecting our marriages, finances, health and other life responsibilities we have. You may ask, "Pastor Brady, have you ever been guilty of this exhausting and out of balance living?" Yes I have!
As we begin this New Year together I am mindful of a powerful truth recorded in the Bible. It is found in Psalm 90:12. Moses prayed this prayer, "Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." If there ever was a prayer that needed to be prayed to help us embrace this new year of 2012 it would be this one.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
Friend, each day is a gift from God. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Today, we must be right with God. Today, we must speak and show love to our family and friends. We must not let one day be wasted with bad feelings toward another human being. Life is too short.
The thieves of love and life are: Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness. The thieves of an out-of-balanced lifestyle are: Busyness, over commitment and trying to fill our heart voids with activities and things. They create emotional and relational exhaustion. These thieves steal our joy and peace in life.
As we learn to value the gift of life and the gift of a day we will gain a "heart of wisdom." We can approach our heavenly Father anytime, anywhere about anything without reservation.
He listens and answers! He can give us: Wisdom to discover God's plan and purpose for our families. Wisdom to prioritize the spiritual, the relational and the practical issues of our lives. Wisdom to see our need for him! He is the answer to our exhaustion!
I leave you with the words of Jesus, God's son: "Seek first God's kingdom and God's righteousness and everything else will be given to you."
We may not know what a day will bring our way, but we can know the God who creates the day! May God bless you as only as he can do.
Have a happy, peaceful and blessed New Year!
The Rev. John Brady is a pastor at First Assembly of God Church in Minot.