Those who have been reading my work for a while know I set a theme for each year in my life. One of my favorites from the past remains, “Consume less, contribute more”. That principle has stuck with me and continues to shape the way I live. As I contemplated this year’s theme, I kept bouncing between several ideas and could never seem to land on one. When I awoke on the first day of the year, I still had no theme.
As I was standing in the quiet of my house in the early morning, I suddenly felt compelled to go to my knees in prayer for the upcoming year. Out of this time, my theme very naturally presented itself. As I was praying, the chorus to the song, “Scandal of Grace”, began playing repeatedly in my head. It begins, “Oh to be like You”. I knew in an instant this would be my theme for the rest of the year.
The chorus to the song continues like this: “Oh to be like You / Give all I have just to know You / Jesus, there’s no one besides You / Forever the hope in my heart”. This is to be the direction of my year. Whatever may come, I want to be more like Jesus at the end of the year than I am today. Everything I do throughout the year will be done through this lens. Decisions will be made based on if the outcome will make me more like Jesus. How I choose to spend my time will be filtered through whether the activity will make me look like Jesus. How I treat and respond to people will be based on how Jesus would respond to the situation.
Before the skeptics and haters begin emailing, let me assure you I will mess up. I won’t live this out perfectly. I do know if this is my overarching purpose I will draw closer to God, and that is the whole point. In the meantime, I’m going to reorient my plans and choices around the theme of being like Jesus. Perhaps it’s a no-brainer for a would-be disciple of Christ, but somehow saying it out loud in a most public way is energizing and exciting for me. My mission in life is to instruct and encourage others to live their lives wholly devoted to Christ. I can’t expect to do that if I don’t model it first.
Each of us who proclaim Jesus as our Lord should be striving every day to draw closer to Him. Our work is to look more like Jesus every day of our lives. If our goal is not to be like Him, then what is the purpose of living? Since we have devoted our lives to Him, He is the only logical reason to get out of bed each day. He is the only worthwhile pursuit for us. If this isn’t true for you, I encourage you to reexamine whether you have truly made Him Lord of your life.
You may not get into things like yearly themes. That’s okay. I do hope you will make some decisions about the upcoming year regarding what you will do with Jesus. In the end, nothing else will matter. Only what you have done with and for Jesus will survive your death. It’s why, for me, there is no greater mission than to desire to be more like Christ. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.