Monday, September 1, 2008

Living with All My Might

One of my random personal traditions is that each year, on my birthday, I reread the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, most of which he penned at age nineteen and read once a week for the rest of his life.

Each year, at least one of Edwards’s resolutions stands out as something I’d like to include in my own life. (In fairness, I don’t necessarily agree with all of the resolutions; for example, I have been known to crack a joke or two on Sundays, unlike #38!) Some years, I’ve been inspired by Edwards’s resolutions on Bible study, faithfulness, and living for God’s glory. Other years, I’ve been impressed with his resolutions on time management and temperance. One year in particular, I took to heart his resolution not to speak evil about anyone or “suffer anger toward irrational beings.” (Suffice it to say that pastoral ministry can be really hard sometimes, which is probably why Edwards included these statements!)

This year, I paused at resolution #6:

Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

I’ve read right past that one before. After all, it’s early on the list, and there are more than sixty others to get to. But this time, I stopped right here, at resolution #6, and said a hearty amen.

That’s exactly what I’m going to do this year—live with all my might.

As I reflected on the past year, I realized that my thoughts all too often began with the word someday. As in, Someday, when our medical bills aren’t so high, we’ll be able to take a fun family vacation. Someday, when the demands of church planting aren’t quite as life-consuming, we’ll finally get on a “normal” schedule. Someday, when the kids are all in school, I’ll start writing again. And on and on.

But this year, I’ve resolved to live with all my might. I'll stop talking about someday and start figuring out ways to make things happen today, right now, in the context of our life and family and current circumstances.

So I’m going to find inexpensive ways to have fun with the kids, from catching perch in our neighborhood pond to going to free Fridays at the museum. And though pastoring The Church at Sendera Ranch will always be a major life commitment, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of God's amazing work here in our community. Plus, I'm finally writing for fun again—I've started this blog!

From on outsider’s perspective, not much has changed from last year. Our kids are still very young, our finances are still very tight, and our time is still very limited. And yet here is my resolution:

Every day of my thirty-fifth year, I am resolved to live with all my might, so that God can use me to emblazon His glory on my family and friends and neighbors, while I do live.

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