Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bucket List Practice # 1 - Listening

Throughout the month of January I am creating a Bucket List in which I will suggest one New Year’s Practice each day that will give you a taste of living an integrated life for 2011.  (By integrated, I mean one in which your faith, your character, your relationships, your responsibilities--all elements of your life--are in agreement.)  Each one is meant to be exercised in one day. Please feel free to share about your experience in the comments section below.  We will move through four different themes of living an integrated life.  The first week January we'll explore practices related to our relationship with God.

I'll start us off this year with a bit of a paradox for a New Year's resolution Bucket List.  The most powerful line (and perhaps most well-known) in Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life is this: "It's not about you."  It seems a little counter-intuitive to put that out there in a conversation related to New Year's resolutions for ourselves. We live in a task-oriented, "doing" culture where we are always on the go asking, "What do I have to do?" That's usually the pick-up line that sparks our courtships with New Year's resolutions. But to live an integrated life means that we have to "be" a certain kind of person in order to "do" those resolutions. And it's usually our own shortcomings that cause us to resolve to live better. So I think the best place to begin this year is humbly acknowledging that this life is bigger than us. And could it be that God actually has something in mind for us this year, even something better than what we want for ourselves? 

The only way to find out is to zip the lip and listen. That is today's practice. Unplug everything and do what the Psalmist writes:  "Be still, and know that I am God."  Let there be no other voice today, not even yours, but the voice of God telling you what to be about this year. And let that set the course for your life in 2011.

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