[bl]A[/bl] new year begins, and with it we promise and hope. We dream and discern. We begin fresh. Anything can happen! Yet as the days push us forward we sill work, we still school, we still clean our houses. And like the previous year, our children grow quicker than we’d like and time seems to slow and speed at intervals we can’t explain. And in these normal days, we still endure hours of sadness and rejoice in moments of triumph.
And it’s the little everyday things that sustain us.
Truly, not a whole lot changes about the days of a new year. Yet each year is always different. Always. In our normal, and among family and friends, God affirms and comforts. And in the unique events of each year and the exchanging of words with those who speak and think different, God takes us to new places of life and love.
And it all shapes us for his glory so that each year is marked by growth.
We always say a new year marks a fresh beginning. Yet, isn’t it that God is continually making us new?
For me, the new year begins with a fast. And has for the past six years. I omit all food for one week, filling my body with liquids and God’s enduring strength. In these days, my spirit hungers more than my flesh.
And it’s always filled. Always.
God is faithful to provide an abundant meal for those who dine at his table. These have been joyful days. Difficult, but life changing. Fasting is so much more than replacing food with prayer. More than hunger pains reminding you to fall on your knees.
It’s a journey of flesh and spirit.
This year I will fast one day for each member of our family. My prayers will ask God to make himself known to our family in new ways. To refine our character, shape our spirit and draw us closer to one another and to the One who drew us together in the beginning. And in the quiet I will listen for God’s truth. His word. His discernment as we walk through the days of 2011.
May God’s grace be upon me as I feast on his word and drink in his love.
Journey with me.