Sunday, December 30, 2012

Consecrating the Year

When I was growing up, my mom and I used to go for morning walks on "The Boardwalk."  It's a beautiful path right along the beach with sweeping views of the Long Beach Harbor:

(Photo courtesy of Nina M.)
At the end of the path, there's a little post, and before we ever turned around to walk back to our car, my mom said, "You have to touch!" 

So my siblings and I (whoever of us was accompanying mom) grew up "touching the post"--like it was part of a game.

One day, however, I noticed that my mom wasn't just tagging the post quickly and heading back down the boardwalk, like I was.  She touched it gently, closed her eyes, smiled, and then went on her way. 

I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "Every time I touch this post, I say quietly in my mind, 'I consecrate my day to the Lord.'  Then I think about Him through the whole day and try to please Him in everything I do."

That simple gesture meant a lot to me, and I started following her example.  Sometimes when we would reach the post together, we would smile at each other and say aloud, "We consecrate our day to the Lord!"  And then we would hold hands and walk the rest of the boardwalk--feeling a little more excited about the day ahead.

Whenever I go on a jog that goes up and back the exact same path, I find some end point--a stop sign, a fence, a tree . . . and I think of my mom as I whisper, "I consecrate my day to the Lord."

Last week, Eric and I took our children up a beautiful canyon trail near our home.  Now that Spencer is five, we're able to do longer hikes, and so for the first time we made it to the "Trail End" of this specific path.

I asked my children if they remembered what Grandma Zoe says whenever she reaches the end of a path, and they all chimed in, "I consecrate my day to the Lord."

And then, since we're just about to start 2013, I said, "How about we consecrate our YEAR to the Lord?"  

So we did.

And we're excited.  

The new year holds so many possibilities, and as I wrote out my list of goals, I wondered if I would really be able to do all these things I dream about.

But then I realized that if my life is consecrated (declared to be sacred, sanctified, devoted), and if I'm closer to Him at the end of this year than I am at the beginning, then that is absolute success.

Do you have any specific reminders that help you to focus on God?

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