Sunday, January 3, 2010

Questions for the New Year

Tim Challies posted a link to Donald Whitney's "Ten Questions for the New Year." I know that without frequently slowing down and stepping back from my own day-to-day life, it's easy for me to just go through each day without much thought. But keeping in mind the future (see the previous post) and the goal of our lives, "to glorify God, and enjoy him forever" (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q & A 1), I think it's good and necessary to evaluate our lives and not "run aimlessly," but purposefully (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Below are Whitney's ten questions, with my own preliminary responses. (Twenty more can be found at the link above.)

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
I want to grow in being hospitable and openly generous with my time, space, and money. I think the more we ween ourselves from our own needs and concerns and trust God to be open to others, really reveals to us his great provision and builds in us his heart for others.

2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
I would continue teaching at HHS and to rely upon God's unfailing love to sustain me in the "famine" that teaching there can often be or feel like (Psalm 33:19).

3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
Make consistent prayer time a priority with Olivia. We started off really strongly in that but have faded as life's busyness built up.

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
Praising God through music, poetry, and writing -- I do not sing hymns or praise songs much outside of corporate worship, and I feel like doing this would bring much more joy, rest, and contentment to my life.

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
Ha! This is probably blogging and stuff on the Internet. We'll no longer have cable, so that probably won't be a big distraction.

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
Along with Olivia, I want to establish stronger relationships with people at our church and simply get into people's lives and sharpen one another with God's Word (Proverbs 27:17) to find practical, tangible ways we can walk out of sin and into the God-glorifying freedom and hope of the gospel. We want especially to do this through having a generous, open home.

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
My brother Jordan and some of my co-workers.

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
Set aside a small amount of time each day, both with my wife and alone, in order to develop the consistency I once had; and keep a list of others' needs to keep from focusing on myself alone.

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?


Halfmom said...

I am curious as to whether you have come up with answers for #8 and #10.

Andrew said...

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year? -- Two things come to mind: (1) Get back into reading good books. I hardly read anything last year because I was so busy. Spending "quality time" with Olivia is still #1, but I want to spend more time reading good books. (2) I also want to develop a strong male "iron sharpens iron" relationship here.

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity? -- I have no idea, other than being more bold in initiating spiritual conversations and sharing the gospel.

Halfmom said...

Excellent answers, all. I think my prayer for you is several iron sharpens iron male relationships, men much older, older and your you age.

What my answers would be for any, I'm not sure. This is especially true given the recent past situations we have walked through together.

Kiss you your lovely wife for me. I miss you both much.