I don’t know what it is that you love, but I am lover of language. Words make me come alive inside, and so, because of that I live with my eyes and ears open to words everyday. All over the place. All of the time. My ear tune in to it ALL- the good, the bad and the not so pretty language we humans use intentionally or flippantly. The words being used tell me a lot about the state of our hearts and so I listen because it is from that place I am able to minister more intentionally as a Pastor. Some of the statements that are being flung far and wide right now sound like this: “fast forward to 2021”, “let’s write off 2020 and try again next year”, “2020 is cancelled” – you all know what I am talking about. You’ve probably heard or even seen the memes saying something similar or maybe you’ve even thought or said these kind of words yourself. Regardless, I wanted to challenge this resolve to write off the year COVID rocked the world because we don’t get to blank out time. We have the power to do much in our humanity but erasing a year, especially this one, 2020, from the history of the world is just not possible.
2020 with all of its disruption, disappointment and grief is still going. There are 6 weeks left in fact. What will we do with the gift of time we have been given?
And so backtrack- what happened to me, personally, that brought me to this point. I woke up almost two weeks ago and felt convinced and convicted that I was not to settle for a year gone wrong but rather take what was left and surrender it as an offering to God, saying USE IT, because You can, God. Make something of it, even still. That moment, as I looked towards the remnant of this year, shifted something in me and I resolved to do something I don’t ordinarily do in November- I set some goals. Things I wanted to accomplish and journey into before the end of the year. It feels somewhat ridiculous and perhaps you’re rolling your eyes at me right now. If I’m honest there is still this part of me that questions, “What is the point?” but on the other side of this questioning lies a deep set desire to see God make something out of what seems like nothing. To take my empty and make it full. To take my broken offering and supernaturally produce wholeness. To take what I am not and shape it into what I was destined to be. To use the left over parts of this year to bring about even more than I ever dreamed possible. To do something profound and glorious with my weakness. To showcase what happens when His strength collides with my ever confronting humanity. What if I truly believed God is still working? Would I want to cancel or write off this year then?
I don’t know excatly how, but what I know for sure is that something settled in me as I approached November and December as an offering rather than “just some time left to make it through to New years Eve”. I felt energised and alive with possibility and my hunch is that it was my perspective change, that ultimately shifted everything.
Romans 12 in the Message so stunningly written by Eugene Petersen poses this powerful thought. “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
What if we took just the small amount of what we have left in 2020 and simply placed it before God as an offering. The last of our energy. The shortness of our breath. The final few minutes of our time. What if we still believed there was more to come even in these final few weeks. What miracles, perhaps, could flow from our everyday ordinary offering? What if He took Him at HIS word- that “embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans 12.
And so, in November, I declared life to the dead bones of 2020 and set goals (to run daily, write weekly, celebrate often and prepare my heart with excellence for the season ahead). To show myself and all that this year thrown at us that I am still standing and believing that something utterly remarkable can flow from the ruins of this year.
I’d love you to join me in giving up your “last” moments of 2020 as an offering to God, believing that He will do exceedingly and abundantly more then we could ever dare to imagine or hope… (Ephesians 3:20)