Our tree is looking tired, the presents are safely tucked into the spaces we've found for them, and school started today. It must be time to clean the house and get back into the everyday routine, including this blog. The problem is, this blank page is a little bit intimidating. I don't want to write just to write something--I want it to be encouraging or helpful or entertaining (or all three). I don't pretend to have any profound ideas, but I certainly don't want to waste your time or mine.
In a way, I think the blank page is a metaphor for what is both inspiring and terrifying about the beginning of a new year. It feels like a good time to take stock, to think about how where you are and where you'd like to go next. But sometimes that's scary, because you don't like where you are or you don't think you can make it to where you want to be. 2012 is a blank page, and I'm not sure how to start writing this story.
I don't really write New Year's resolutions, but I do make them in my head. They are pretty much the same every year. I want to read the Bible in a year. (And get past March this time.) I want to do better about writing thank-you notes and sending birthday greetings. (I always fail miserably at that one, despite my best intentions.) I want to be more relaxed about housework and less grumpy with my kids. (Those two are very closely related in my world, since the mess is what makes me grumpy.) I want to get in shape and eat better for the whole year, not just a month or two. I fill each new year's blank page with resolutions made and broken, with successes and failures.
And so with each new page I wonder how I can make it come out a little better than last time. But I think I'd feel a lot better about the blank pages in life if I could let them inspire me rather than intimidate me. The secret to that, I think, is a shift in perspective: realizing that my life, and each new page in it, is something God and I write together, Him leading and me cooperating in the process. If I think about the surprises and interruptions in life--good and bad--as an intentional blip in the story line made by a wise and loving author, I won't be ruffled by them. If I look at the new page with excited anticipation to see what comes next rather than feeling responsible to force the next episode, I think I'll be happier.
The only way to start filling a blank page is to start writing. And the only way to make a fresh start in this new year is to start living. Are you with me? Let's not be intimidated by this blank page of 2012, let's get excited to see what God has in store!