One of my favourite times at the beginning of a new year is opening my new agenda planner.
(Yes I still keep an old fashioned hardcopy planner, in spite of the fact that I also have the modern, and much more efficient, thing on my computer).
As I open my brand new book it represents a brand new year. Pages clean and white and straight and blank.
There is a freshness to the scent and a crispness to the touch.
Over there is my old planner from last year, a book with its now curled edges and smudged up cover. Each page scribbled full with little notes and scheduled visits and meetings. It feels like an old friend really, I spent so much time with it and it went wherever I went.
I am going to miss that old book!
As I place my old planner in my library, this book represents a year of ministry, a year of blessing, a year of many trials and a year with failure and testing. But most of all it reveals the faithfulness of God and his goodness to me.
I cannot white the pages again and return it to newness, just as I cannot take my year lived and make it different. My old planner must forever be the way it is . . . and so must the year of my life.
There is also a sense of satisfaction to me as I carefully set Agenda 2013 in its place there beside Agenda 2012 and all the previous volumes. The fact is that Year 2013 that was not perfect, a year that was not without sin, a year that was not without testing, a year that was not without failure, but a year of my life that was, I hope and pray, lived to the glory of God and the matchless Name of His Son Jesus Christ.
This new book of mine seems strange yet exciting. It’s stiffness is an indication of the fact that it does not yet know me. Yet, as each day goes by, this book too will bend beneath the weight of life and show itself a friend to me and I hope a friend to God.
My planner invites me to enter, it invites me to accept the challenge of the year, it invites me to write upon it the scribbles and lines and musings of ministry 2014.
Without God my heart would fail to accept that challenge, but with Him beside, I tentatively open it and with cautious hand write.
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord!
So it will be . . . .
So it must be. . . . .