It’s always good to be back to routine . . . especially when that routine includes Tuesday Morning Equip Her. The first Tuesday back is always very special, not only because of the beautiful decorations and the delicious food, but also the sweet chance to worship with all of you. I’m so thankful for Carey and the rest of the worship team and the way they lead us with authenticity and transparency. Here’s what Carey had to share.
By Carey Helmink
I don’t know why it is always so shocking to me that another year is off and running. It seems so redundant to say it, but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the years go by. I am 55 (well, I will be 56 this year, but I’m in denial that I am that close to 60 – so, let’s just say that I’m 55 and leave it at that – for good) and there are days when it feels like I just graduated from high school . . .
And then there are days when my 76-year-old mother could probably outrun me, so there you go.
I used to be one for New Year’s resolutions. I loved starting the new year with fresh goals and the hopes that by year’s end I would have lost weight, had whiter teeth, read my bible every day (and had an extended prayer time), been more organized and a better steward of my time and money—all good goals without a doubt.
But the opening to 2015 has felt a little different to me.
To be honest, I started this year pretty exhausted. As many of you know, I lost my precious dad in November and it has been a rough couple of months. I have not had the energy – physical or mental – to make resolutions. But I have thought quite a bit about life and what matters and what I want my life to look like from here on out. So I have made one SMALL resolution for this year.
I’m sure you have heard the saying – “Don’t sweat the small stuff” – but actually, that is exactly what I intend to do this year. I want to care about the little things because that is where life is lived . . . that’s where character is formed. The small decisions are the ones that determine the ultimate course of my life.
Listen to these familiar words from Luke 16:10: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Jesus had just told a parable that deals primarily with finances when he spoke these words, but I can’t help thinking that principle is pretty universal.
Some of you are like me, in that, you have followed Jesus for a very long time. If I’m honest, I have to admit to you that if I’m not careful, I can find myself just going through the motions. For example, the desire of my heart is to lead worship from a place of authenticity, but I have done this long enough that it would be very difficult for you to know if I’m doing that or not. That is very frightening to me. If I don’t live intentionally through the moment-by-moment, everyday choices I make, I can pull off this Christianity thing and the people around me would never know if I’m sincere or not.
But I would know. And more importantly, God would know.
So let me challenge you to think about the “small” areas of your life.
Are there things you do or say that are sinful, but you excuse them because that’s just your personality? Do you get on Facebook intending to stay for a few minutes and an hour later . . . ? Oh, and related to social media, do you feel discontent with your life because your friend’s lives seem so much more exciting or “perfect”? Maybe you and your husband agree on a certain amount of spending money each month but because you do the grocery shopping you can fudge on that a bit. Do you tell people you will pray for them, but never give it a second thought? Do your children hear you say things about other people that affect their opinion of them as well – coaches, teachers, pastors? Maybe you intended to read your bible last night but that rerun of Modern Family was calling your name . . .
I feel like I just confessed some of my many “little” sins . . .
Dear friends, please hear me when I say that my intention is not to make you (or me) feel guilty. Not at all. But to remind you (and me) that a life of joy and peace and character and influence doesn’t happen in the big moments of life. It happens in the small decisions we make over and over through the day. It happens as we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”
When we knew for sure that we were going to lose my dad, my mom said, “I can’t do this. I don’t know how to do this without your dad.” My brother and I told her, “You can. It’s going to suck. There are going to be really hard days, but all you have to worry about is the next thing. Do the next thing.” And she is. It’s so hard, but she’s doing it. She’s making the next small decision in front of her and trying to honor God with her life.
You and I can too. What is the next decision you have to make? Be intentional. Choose wisely. Ask for the Lord’s help. And next year at this time – maybe we won’t need to make a resolution.
“Lord, I need you. Oh I need you. Every hour I need you. My one defense, my righteousness – Oh God, how I need you.”