Every January the advertisements, discussions, and even news reports speak of New Year’s resolutions. While I don’t ascribe to choosing something new every year, I do think every day is a new opportunity to resolve to be a better version of ourselves. What I choose each day will reveal my character, and there is no better time to improve on character than the present. There is something exciting about the new year though. It could just be the relief the holiday season and all the extra brouhahas are over, but I think it has more to do with hopeful expectation for the year ahead. It is also a time to look back on the year and take inventory of all that happened.
It is the idea of inventory I have been meditating on the past few weeks. I had gone to the store and bought a bottle of sparkling water. Living in a small apartment, space is limited, so I put it next to the front door while I finished the open bottle. The next time I went to the store, I bought another bottle, while putting that one away, I saw the first bottle next to the door and thought, I didn’t even know what I had.
This is not a PSA on the importance of using a shopping list, though it certainly is a takeaway. This is an invitation to take inventory of what you already have and the motivations you have for looking for anything else.
I don’t know about you, but when my life is going one hundred miles a minute, I don’t take the time to think, I react, and usually from a motivation of fear; Not a scouting the house with a flashlight and scissors pointed out ready to strike fear, but a fear of not having enough; Running out of supplies, needing to take time when I won’t have it, feeling deprived, not having the next thing planned or prepared, running out of time. While the widget I’m using here is a bottle of water, the fear encompasses all aspects of life in varying degrees of fear and/or anxiety.
When I saw the bottle by the door, I realized, the provision was already there, I did not need to buy another one. And, if it wasn’t there, the day would go on, and all would be well. Inventory allows us to see what we have, if what we have is what we still want, if we can sell it, give it away, or find a renewed purpose in utilizing what is already there, and if need be, strategize ways to fill in the gaps.
This year I’m looking for pockets of time to slow down, look at all that has been provided, raise my Ebenezer in praise to the God who provides even when I don’t see all the ways he does it. And though it may not have been a stream in the dessert, the sparkling water by the door was enough of an invitation to take inventory. Just one more way he speaks to me in gentle loving ways, reminding me he was, is, and always will be the God who sees (Gen. 16:13) and the source of all my provision.