For the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. Deuteronomy 20:4
With the turn of a new year, it’s as if we all get a clean slate, an enormous “do over.” It’s a collective opportunity to regroup, re-prioritize, and re-imagine how we want to live our lives.
The more I reflected on how I want this new year to play out, the more I realized there’s a battle raging for my perspective.
My husband is in sales, and has been for decades. In his early years, his mentor taught him that every interaction is a sale: through the course of the back and forth one person wins; the other person loses.
I believe the exact same thing happens in our minds. Every time we dwell on something, we hand the victory over to either the God of Light, or the king of darkness. Progress, or the lack thereof, is determined in that moment.
If we choose to keep our eyes on God, we’re saturated with light and peace. Suddenly, we view our lives as ripe with possibility. We dream big, and feel confident and inspired to take the necessary steps towards turning our dreams into a reality. Our God is a God of progress.
On the other hand, it was St. Ignatius who referred to the devil as “the enemy of our progress.” When we hand the victory over to him, we feed his power over our lives. He’s like the sleazy salesman who will capitalize on any tiny weakness we have, dragging us further and further down the road of our insecurities. Progress is never achieved on that road.
The new year is a wonderful time to reclaim our lives, re-claim that God is our source, and choose to put Him in charge!
He created us to do amazing things. Whether our gifts are big or small, they’ve been given to us to make this world a better place. Even if we can’t identify them yet, God will reveal them in the right time, and show us how to unwrap them. No matter what circumstances or obstacles may be in the road, the Creator of the sun and moon and the entire solar system can certainly navigate them for us.
We must remain mindful of the fact that every single day, and a thousand times throughout each day, the battle wages again and again in our minds. It’s only by repeatedly choosing God that we live a life of light: unlocking our potential, and blessing the world in all the ways God intended us to.
Questions for Reflection:
* When the battle wages in my mind, who do I give the victory to?
* How can I remain mindful of choosing God and light over and over again?
With the turn of a new year, it’s as if we all get a clean slate, an enormous “do over.”
Based on this clearest of truths that you, Claire, develop so compellingly, I am reminded of a related truth that was given to me from another enlightened spiritual director: “With the turn of a new day, we each receive this clean slate. Each day is a miniature of your whole life. When you first wake, you are born, and you live a life as the day proceeds until you sleep again. And though, when you awake, you have been here, you have never been here before. So we try to make His Living Presence a reality as often as we can in this miniature sample of a lifetime.” This spiritual truth, Claire, along with your inspiring reflections I try to dwell upon each morning, to face the one day life ahead
Oh Jackie, that’s beautiful! It also gives me so much hope because when I fail, I don’t have to wait a whole year for a “do over!” Thank you for sharing this beautiful concept. 🙂
LOVE this so much Claire. I am sending this to Scott. We were just talking about this last night. I LOVE the new year turn over (and new school turn over). I take the idea of a fresh start very seriously and love this image of turning to the God of Light or the King of Darkness. Thank you so much for your perspective and insight. I think I need to tattoo your last paragraph on my arm….it is a constant struggle for me!
You’re not alone, Jess! It is a constant battle. But I’m positive that if you keep choosing God and light, you yourself are going to light up the world with Kids in Service, and so much more!!! https://kidsinservice.wordpress.com/