Couple the lack of willpower to the uncertainty of the future and we can find plenty of excuses not to set any New Year goals. We live in a fast pace and ever-changing world. No one knows what will happen twelve hours from now much less twelve months. The scriptures even bring up the question, “What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears” (James 4:14 CEV). If the future is filled with uncertainty then why waste energy today trying to change tomorrow?
Uncertainty of the future keeps many of us from participating on the journey of change. Life is filled with uncertainty. As a parent you try to create a household with structure and predictability but when you got four or five different personalities living under the same roof there is always an element of surprise. Marketplace changes at such a rapid rate that we are fearful of keeping our jobs. Relationships can leave us disappointed. If you are a college student it is unclear if there is a job out there waiting for you when you graduate. Uncertainty creates fear. Fear pushes us back.
It is not that we lack the desire to change. All of us could look back at this past year and wish there were things we could change. There are situations we wish were different. Relationships that was deeper. Finances that was more solid. Spiritual life that was more grounded. What if I told you that you can change? What if I said there is a way to make changes in your life in light of all the uncertainty? What if 2013 could be different from 2012? What would you say if I told you it took only focusing on one word?
In Genesis 12 Abram is asked to leave his country, his community, and his family to go to a place that God will show him. Talk about uncertainty. God is saying to this man who should be thinking about front porches and rocking chairs leave everything. Leave everything that makes you who you are, that gives you meaning, that enables you to feed and care for your family and come with me. God tells Abram, “Come with me but I am not going to tell you where we are going until we get there.” Abram is asked to leave everything that is familiar and journey to something entirely unknown. Journey from what he knew to what he did not know, from what he had to what he did not have, from the comfortable to the strange and unpredictable.
Abram is being called out into nothing but a promise. As Abram journeyed out of the safety and comfort of his home to an unfamiliar territory it was the promise that kept him walking. It was the word promise that kept him moving forward. When a drought came and they had to hang out in Egypt it was God’s promise that remained. When it looked like the land was not a possibility it was God’s promise that held his faith. When he couldn’t figure out how he was going to be a father to a multitude it was the promise that kept him going. Abram acted whole heartily without absolute certainty because of a word. The word for Abram was promise.
We too can face an uncertain future by making the journey about one word. We can experience growth in life by concentrating on one word. If we are going to write a better story in 2013 we must deal with uncertainty. But how? We listen for a word. We pay attention to what is God’s word for us this year.
Imagine if we all focused on our one word. Imagine if we took seriously God’s word for our life. In life we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. Life is full of uncertainty. Ask Abraham about uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean we have to remain unclear. By focusing on God’s word for us we are turning our attention on what we want for our future instead of what we don’t want. Let your one word guide you into a better year even in the face of uncertainty.
What is your word for 2013?