Today is an exciting day, the beginning of a new calendar, blank pages all crispy and clean. I smell those pages, run my fingers over unmarked paper. What events, meetings, appointments will be scrawled in those little squares? What milestones and achievements will our family see? What are the unwritten things that come between those calendar lines that will irrevocably change us, shape us, build character?
In thinking forward to the new year and the promise and mystery that it holds, a word comes to mind that encapsulates what I feel called to in 2012, and that word is SATURATE.
When I think of something that is saturated, I envision a sponge that is so wet that if any additional water is dripped onto it, the equal amount leaks out the bottom side! The Bible refers to this state as being 'filled'. Filled to the top, brimming over. Ephesians chapter 5 has an excellent example:
"15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ."
Don't you just love Ephesians? It's so full of practical advice on living for God, and this passage is so applicable to me at this time. It starts out with a 'Therefore', indicating that this passage is an outcome of what came before it, click here to read the context about being imitators of God. Those first few nuggets are great, be careful how you walk, making the most of your time, understand the will of the Lord.
Then comes the part that is really relevant to me in the context of this blog as I've often thought that if I didn't eat, I would likely drink. A lot. Both weaknesses or addictions often stem from the same root, described in the next phrase as 'dissipation'. When I looked up dissipation in the Merriam-Websters dictionary, it was described as 'an act of self-indulgence'. Self indulgence vs. Self control. My paraphrase of verse 18 is "Do not eat to feel good, for that is self-indulgence..." And what does it say to do instead? Be filled with the Spirit. Allow God to SATURATE! How? The how is described clearly in the following phrases,
"speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ."
The saying that what goes in will come out is so true. What I saturate or fill myself with is what will drip out and transfer to those around me!
How does this translate into my daily life? That's the tough one. With 3 kids 5 and under, a garden, animals, domestic duties, and a home office job to keep my day busy with seldom a quiet moment, where do I find the time or place to get soaked in God-likeness? I'll keep you posted! I'd be very interested in hearing your ideas or successes too!