Sunday, September 6, 2009

Newness of Life

--

On a recent trip to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais with my family, we walked a trail that circled the mountain just below the summit, treating us to a 360° view of the whole San Francisco Bay Area from the top. At the trailhead, we picked up the pamphlet that would give us information at numbered markers along the hour-long route. At one such marker our paper tour guide told us the name of a plentiful tree we could observe on the hike.
The manzanita trees that were all along this trail were a source of endless photographic fascination to me. They were shedding their old bark in tight little curly-cues like decorative chocolate on a fancy birthday cake. The previous year's bark curled away as the tree shrugged off last year's skin, revealing a brand new, eye-achingly deep scarlet layer beneath.

::::::::::::::::::::


My birthday.


A marker. 
A checkpoint. Maybe a crossroads.


Old year me peeled away. New year me underneath.


Each birth year, each pass by that date on the calendar, is a chance to go forward in fresh skin. In the ending is a beginning. While the original day of birth is marked and celebrated, a new year is born and with it a chance for a new me . . . I hope.

I am notoriously my own worst critic AND my own biggest excuser--I'm probably not alone. This year, I hope to become less of each. I hope to become more real, more named . . . more His.




I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to overthink it. I don't want to endlessly list and purpose and plan it. Yes, I have goals I want to reach, and they are written down and they will be tools for me to chart my progress. BUT! I want the goals to be reached from the inside out, not by an external act of my will through gritted teeth and self-imposed musts and must nots. I want to be different inside and let change work it's way out. I want the old to curl away and fall off because the new underneath is healthy and robust enough to displace it, not to mention so much prettier than the old crinkly stuff.


" . . . just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, so we too might habitually live and behave in newness of life." Romans 6:4 AMP

What a promise! What a call!! WHAT. AN EXAMPLE. TO FOLLOW!!!


Well, I WILL follow, and pursue Him with all I've got! I pray for God's powerful help to shed more of who I used to be--growing, sloughing off the outgrown, and that the glory of the Father will cover me in the beauty of Christ which is better by far!

Do you, as do I, want to be like a manzanita tree? What would you like to slough off and what would you like to see growing and glowing underneath? Let me know how I can pray for you as we peel away our old bark together!


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