Hand in hand with my husband, I made the long trek from my seat in the pew down to the front of the church to kneel at the altar. It was family prayer time, and we went down to pray. We prayed for some things too personal to share, but I left with a word from the Father. I talked to God on me knees about the year ahead. I told him there would be no resolutions this year. I was weary of trying and failing at the same things over and over for years. I was done. These habits I have been trying to overcome were either my cross to bear or were simply part of my DNA. I had prayed through it all before and I was giving up on the striving.
"Show me where I'm wrong Lord. Show me how to overcome. I can't keep striving."
"Good." I heard him say. "I'm glad you're giving up this fight. Your striving is really only straining and isn't at all what I've asked you to do."
"So, here we are God. Me giving up and you cheering me on."
"I want you to give up striving by choosing to honor me. You've been asking me to help you accomplish what is fully within your power to grasp. You've been asking me to pull you up out of bed and put your feet on the ground. I won't do that. I've done my part. I've made the covenant. I've kept the covenant. My promises are true. My word is right. I've done my part. I will continue to do my part. Now you can choose to strive or to honor me. In honoring me, what you strive for will become like putty in your hands. This overcoming thing is really not that complicated. Simply honor me. Honor me in all you think, say, and do. At church, at home, at work, at play, I want you to honor me. Ask yourself continually, 'Does this honor my Father?'"
I discovered in just a few moments what I've always known but somehow made so very complicated. I can and should honor God in everything if I am to have peace in all things. I can work with honor, clean with honor, eat with honor, speak with honor, photograph with honor, write with honor, listen with honor . . . everything I think, say or do, no matter how big or little, can be done with honor in mind. Haven't I been doing this all along? Maybe, but not in all areas and not always with intentionality.
Honoring my Father is the key that will unlock the rusty chains of bad habit. There really is no such thing as bad habit after all, only sin.
I pushed myself up from the altar and began moving toward my seat in the pew when I heard him say, "Honor is your word for 2013."
So, here I find myself approaching a new year with no resolutions and with the no intention of choosing "one word" to frame the year ahead while at the same time finding that God himself has chosen a word for me.
The word that I've been given for this year is, honor. In all I think, say and do I will not turn to the opinions of others to see if I have earned a satisfactory. In all things, I will have an audience of one.