I didn’t know what my “word” should be for 2016, but God did. I gave up making resolutions at New Year’s start a while ago. Instead, I pick a word as the theme of my year. One year it was “Joy,” my very favorite word. The next year it was “Discipline,” not at all my favorite word, or practice for that matter! So as 2016 loomed, I began to ask God what he wanted my focus to be. Leave it to God to give me my answer on a New Jersey Transit bus.
I was on the bus with my daughter just after Christmas, traveling from our hotel in New Jersey into New York. As I found my seat and settled in for the 20 minute ride, the very loud woman behind me began a phone conversation with a friend who was obviously suffering with some health issues. My fellow-traveler knew just what her friend needed. She knew a “guy” who provided vitamins and IV supplements that “could restore a person’s DNA on a cellular level.” He was the reason this woman “looked so great”, and he was the reason she was going to “live a lot longer than the average slob.” My travel companion went on to say that Moses and people of his time lived to be 140 and we should be able to live that long as well. She went on and on… and on.
The bus finally arrived at the Port Authority in NY. The woman behind me disconnected from her call quickly, jumped to her feet and rushed to exit the bus. Her departure was stalled, though, by a young mother who was blocking the aisle as she maneuvered her luggage and child out of a row of seats. I guess the woman who wanted to live as long as Moses was afraid she would have to wait 140 years to get off the bus. She started protesting the delay. LOUDLY. “She lived in New York because she liked to move fast, she didn’t have all day, stupid tourists, come ON already!”
I found myself wondering why this woman wanted to live so long when she was obviously stressed-out and miserable. As I stepped out of her way so she could sprint down the escalator ahead of me, God gave me my 2016 focus word. ETERNITY. My travel-mate on the bus had only one focus and that was her time spent on this spinning planet. God helped me realize that much of the time I have been guilty of living the same way. Caught up in this world, I sometimes forget my time on this side of eternity is fleeting- a blink, a Nano-second.
So this year I will truly focus on Eternity. I predict the changes this focus will bring will be far-reaching. I hope to look at people differently, remembering that every single one is a skin-clad soul that will live for eternity. I want to be bolder about introducing those souls, like the woman on the bus and her “guy,” to my God. I want to spend my God-given “allowance” differently, with a focus on things that will last much longer than the latest trend. I want to see worship as a warm-up to what we will experience in heaven, and the tasks God gives me here as a training ground for whatever he will have me working on for the next billion years.
How about you? What is God calling you to focus on in 2016? I would be delighted to share Eternity with you! Literally.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.