The Sound of Hope
I love January. The scent of newness decorates the air. Snow is softly falling in Charlotte as I write today. This rare dusting adds to the aura of birth and renewal. 2017 offers a clean slate to start over. To wash old stains white, birth new dreams, listen to the sound of hope.
January usually finds me creating new lists, whether it be goals, reminders, or simply a word to inspire. The school-girl in me loves to find brand new organizers, like the one I snagged this year from Anthro for 40% off.
But the question that is nagging me most at the beginning of this year, is the question of misplaced time. I do not want to look back on 2017 and find that one of the most precious commodities I have been given, I squandered. How do I manage time, or does it manage me? I desire to “number my days aright that I may gain a heart of wisdom.”
I am currently reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald per my husband’s suggestion. MacDonald shares that Christ was the Lord of Time, a true master of managing life’s everyday demands: “One never gets the feeling when studying the life of Christ that He ever hurried, that He ever had to play ‘catch-up,’ or that He was ever taken by surprise.”
2017 looms ahead in all it’s sound and fury, hours and minutes waiting to be lived. How do we manage those moments so that we master time rather than it mastering us? MacDonald shares that one of the secrets to Christ bringing time under control was that Jesus clearly understood His mission.
And so it seems, the question we must all ask and answer is:
What is my mission?
Your answer will most likely look different than mine. I spent a few hours soul-searching and really praying that God would give me a razor-sharp focus on the mission He has for me. I think it’s a great question to begin this new year asking. MacDonald writes, “He [Jesus] had an overarching task to perform, and He measured His use of time against that sense of mission.”
As I evaluate the mission of my own life, I am overwhelmed by the sound of hope. His love covers these days of mine, giving me a clear sense of purpose: Homeward.
First and foremost, I am a Daughter of the King. Everything I do must ultimately bring glory to God. His mission is mine. I have been convicted that instead of waking each morning laying out the requests I want before God, instead I should begin by asking God want He wants from me. What is it that You have for me to do for You in this new day?
Is He asking me to fast? Then I fast. Does He desire I memorize His Scripture? Then I commit His words to memory. Is He asking me to spend time alone in the morning? Then I greet the dawn with His Word.
Next, I am Wife of my Earthly Lover. Under Christ, my most important role is help-meet, lover to my husband. I must choose daily to love and respect him. How? By getting up earlier than I want to provide space for him to work. Perhaps it’s as simple as turning off the t.v. to provide the sanctuary of the bedroom. Anticipate him, and what he wants and needs. Honor him by the way time is spent. Create margin for the unexpected, the romantic, the wooing.
Finally, I am a Mother to Three Pixies. My prayer for my girls is that they always know the sound of home. That they can rest in the confidence that, here with us, they are always safe. That no matter how old they are, they always long to come home. As their mother, my mission is to instill in them a love for God, others, and a sense of their infinite worth in Christ. He is their ultimate home. How do I do this? By teaching them the Word of God, instructing them in a way to love learning, and the discipline of healthy habits.
I cannot stop listening to Future of Forestry’s song Homeward. The lyrics speak to the sound of hope:
I will search for your heart
When your world is dim
I will know all your mind
I will call you mine
Child, I won’t let you go
We are homeward bound
Child, I’ll sing ‘til it’s clear
We are homeward
In my voice you will know the sound of hope
We are all homeward bound. 2017 is just getting us one day closer to that glorious homecoming. The sound of hope is everywhere. Each of us has a mission, a mission that helps us to bring our days, our hours, our time under control.
“Where your priorities are, there your time will be.”
These are my priorities. Not that next episode on Netflix, that coffee alone at Starbucks, or the shopping trip to Uptown. Then, maybe, once I start to understand my priorities, this mission I’m on, I will walk in beauty like the night. Then maybe my husband will have full confidence in me (Prov. 31:11). Then possibly my children will arise and call me blessed (Prov. 31:28).
The sound of hope.