“Do you have them ready?”
That’s what he asked me….”Do you have them ready?” He asked it with a straight face. He asked with sincerity in his voice AND he asked within the radius of my arm’s swing. Me thinks the man has lost it.
Exactly WHAT am I to have ready for him? My goals for 2007. All those things that reside in the depths of my heart that I am longing to see Father birth in our days or my life/character. The things that I see in my children that I want to nurture and kindle in them. The things we want to see happen in our entrepreneurial adventure.
I’ve never written out goals like these before. I’ve never said, “By January 15, I want to have thus and such done.” Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am the oldest in my family, lists are part of my very essence. I have lists, therefore I am. (Notice I just am – not I am organized, or I am equipped or I am….much of anything, except possibly running short on paper.) It’s just that in this case, it’s a different type of list….something much more cosmic in nature.
How does one do this? How does one put together a list that puts into time and space the things that one whispers to Father in the dark of night? How do I say, “Lord, You have placed this on my heart and I want to see it birthed by March 25th, if You please.” ?
I find that is the greatest struggle I have in all this. The differentiating between my goals and my to do lists and my wish lists. How much of what is to take place in 2007 is God’s to bring forth….and how much is mine? I am not deluded into thinking that apart from Father I can do ANYTHING. I know better.
Approximately 10 years ago, He made that infinitely clear. Right after our #5 Horse Whisperer was born, my husband’s business underwent a huge transformation. The sons of the owner took over the business. One son was quite capable of running a business, the other of sinking it. The one who reeked professionalism liked Jeff, the other did not. As soon as the second son took over, Jeff was fired….on a day that the first son wasn’t there….and someone else placed into his position before the end of the day. When son one returned, he called, greatly grieved by his brother’s actions, but felt there was naught to be done. SO…. whew….we were newly babied and unemployed. We remained that way for 3 months. The Lord sustained us through it all. (No surprise, what?)
One morning I was telling the Lord something I was going to do. He quietly spoke to my heart and reminded me that it was all about Him. I said, “Fine, You have control of that. So, can’t I control anything? What about my own grocery list, can’t I even control THAT?” “Do you have any money for anything on it?” “Welllll, nnoooo…..” “Why don’t you just write that list out and let’s see who gets the things on it first….you or Me.” So I did. (What can I say? I’m not the brightest kid in the class.)
My list consisted of strange things – you know, like sweet potatoes, garlic bread, apples – not just any apples, but Granny Smith apples, foil, vanilla tea, honey, mustard. Things that just the ordinary person wouldn’t think to bring you. Then, of course, there was the “normal” things – peanut butter, coffee, spaghetti, flour, jelly, toilet paper….. I don’t remember the others now. I made my list on Monday. By Thursday (Friday being the day our unemployment checks came and we went shopping) every thing on that list was in my kitchen already. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. including specifics – like the vanilla tea and the Granny Smith apples. Score? God 1, Dawn o. A great score to have, if you ask me.
With that background in mind, how does one make out a list of goals for the year, knowing that nothing that goes on that list will come about because of myself? And yet…..and yet, there is a measure of my efforts needing to be added to this mixture….Scripture says we’re to STRAIN toward the goal. Straining isn’t something someone else does for you. Straining means work – hard work, great effort – that we’re to put forth ourselves. So how do we rightly discern between having goals and straining toward them (not for our own gain or our own glory) – taking dominion – and that of sitting back and waiting for Father to birth that which He is going to birth?!!
While I fear that is a rhetorical question, it surely is the one on my heart this morning – so, if you will excuse me, I’m off to spend more time in my prayer closet. I have a new list to put before Father – one in which I tell Him what I would like….and then I guess I shall leave it there, at His feet for Him to fill, if and when He sees fit. Taking dominion stirred into the cosmic, divine, holy, perfect will of the Father…..sounds like the perfect dish to have on my menu for 2007.