With every New Year comes a spate of New Year’s Resolutions. I look forward eagerly to this time of renewal and enthusiasm for goals and planning and getting back to the things that I love and the things that I value. Every year, however, I always find myself ill-prepared and scrambling. I’m rarely ready to start right out of the gate, and I never have enough pre-planning done to make my goals sustainable. There’s nothing different in that regard this year.
For a while, I’ve felt at least somewhat distant from God. Not that I believe any less. Just… It’s hard to put into words. I want to have a passionate faith. But just wanting something does not make it happen.
And I know that feelings are not something which can be controlled, only actions, but they certainly can make things more difficult. The more that I feel disengaged, the more that I need to put myself in His presence.
I had a planner that I dedicated to my faith life last year and it went largely untouched. This year, I again have a planner dedicated to my faith life, and I’m hoping to be able to use it more. To want to use it more. To grow, instead of stagnate, in my faith. I haven’t decided yet how I will set it up, but I think it’s more important this year to let it grow organically, rather than impose a set pattern from the beginning and then abandon it if the pattern no longer works for me.
I don’t yet have a reading plan for Scripture. There’s one to start soon in my Llamas Do Scripture group, and there’s always the daily lectionary, but this evening as I sat down to read after writing down in my planner my feelings, I decided to go into my Laudate app on my phone. The daily Scripture reading they suggested was entitled “Remain in Him,” 1 John 2: 27-28.
But the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
It seems terribly appropriate, right?
The app gives suggestions on how to remain in Jesus: read Scripture, pray, receive the Eucharist, serve others.
Abide in Him or Remain in Him seem, to me, to be active things. Do it. Don’t wish you had a more fiery faith, just live it. Even if you are not feeling it right now. He’s there whether you feel His presence or not. He loves you no less now than before. Human hearts have this quality that makes us say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” or “Time makes you forget,” but God’s heart is not fickle like this. God’s heart is steadfast, hesed.