Blank new page.
For the family.
For the job.
Now is my chance.
I want to do something new.
Something important. Something good.
Last year’s disappointments have passed.
There’s no magic in switching out calendars, yet I am almost reverential when I remove the previous year’s catalog of events from its nail on the wall and replace it with a clean new year. For me, it’s scenic calendars. No cute kittens or humorous quotes.
Please don’t talk to me about a calendar on any electronic device. No fun at all.
I gaze at the new scene full of hope.
This year I Will Do what I planned.
Authors from the past inspire me for following through with the Will Do.
John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
Early in the book, main character Christian and his temporary companion, Pliable, fall into the Slough of Despond. Mud sucks at their boots. It’s like quicksand. Pliable manages to slog the shortest distance to shore and runs back home to the City of Destruction. Christian, with Help’s assistance, finds the steps out of the slough which bring him to the side farthest from his old home and closer to the Celestial City.
Christian determines to continue his journey. He Will Do.
Like Christian, no matter how many obstacles slow me down,
no matter how long it takes to reach my goals for this year, I will keep going.
I Will Do.
In his February 16 reflection for the day titled, “The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative,”
Chambers says, “God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome.”
As soon as I stretch my hand toward the Lord (the Want To),
He grabs it and helps me the rest of the way. (The Will Do)
He inspires me. He gives me the strength I need.
From the last page of the chapter called, “The Valley of Loss,” main character Much-Afraid worries about what the Shepherd will ask of her. In spite of her fear, she trusts him. She murmurs to herself, “He will never stop until He makes me what He is determined that I ought to be.”
I may not be quite ready to change in the way God wants me to change,
but Jesus will never be content
until He “makes me what He has determined that I ought to be.”
He will make sure I have a Will Do.
The first chapter of James speaks of being “doers of the Word.” If we stop with merely hearing the Word, we forget what the Bible teaches. God rewards us with all kinds of joys when we begin to put into action what we’ve learned.
If I stop at the Want To, I’m like the man who looks in the mirror (v 23). I forget my purpose. I get lazy. I decide my want-to is too difficult, so when I wade into the muck of a stagnant pond, I plop myself down in its shallows, unwilling to struggle to the other side. It’s even too much effort to work my way back to where I started and maybe find a path around the problem.
But if I reach out to Jesus and plead, “Help me,” He lifts me out of the mud and shows me the path where I can continue to follow my goals. The Will Do has begun. (v 25), and God will bless my endeavors.
We all experience the Want To.
Remember: The want-to leads to the will-do.
Let Jesus grab your upraised hand.
You’re on your way.
Out of the mud.
And onto the path of Will Do.