Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happily Newly Yearly

Today is all about the editing.

As a writer I know better than to use too many “ly” words. I gladly explain to fervently studious yet naively ambitious writers that eliminating those tritely placed and descriptively unneeded extras will get rid of the superfluously portended content we often unnecessarily pen when attempting to make our writing more beautifully meaningful. Of course, what I advise other to do, I sometimes don’t do myself. Everybody needs an editor.                  
As in writing, we often see the mistakes and poor decisions others make, but seldom notice the same foibles in our own lives. Sometimes we don’t know better. It hasn’t been that long since a more experienced writer had to tell me not to use all those adjectives. But most of the time it’s just easier to inventory the faults of others than to catalog our own shortcomings.

Except for today. This is not the day we spend pondering the ways everyone around us can improve their lives. This is the day we think about how to better ourselves. We will self-improve. Auto-correct. We’ll just plan to do it and it will happen. We’ll lose weight. We’ll be kinder. Save more money. Give more money. Read all the way through one of those Bible-in-a-year plans. Serve at church more. Pray more. Share our faith…um…more. We’ll be resolute about that. Not cowardly and inexpressively passive in proclaiming the passionately devoted and victoriously committed hope to which we seriously cling in answering the call of Christ to reach the world with the Gospel.

But tomorrow, well, you know how it will go down. You’ll eat right. You’ll keep your mouth shut when someone does you wrong. You’ll read Genesis 2, and Psalm 2, and Matthew 2. You’ll talk to your neighbor about how you can’t believe another year has gone by. Maybe you’ll invite him to church. Then you’ll go inside and wonder if you should have asked him what he knows about Jesus. But surely if he wanted to know more, he’d ask. So you put it out of your mind and go eat another carrot stick. Maybe with a little onion dip on it.

Oh, wait. I’m not looking at how you’ll spend January 2nd. Today, I’m considering my own life. And I’m going to be truthful about it. I will try. But I will fail. I need an editor. Not just when I write, but when I breathe. When I walk out my front door. When I plan my next move. When I think I can add strategically thought-out but persistently unreliable motivationally inept schemes to the life I should be living.

This is my life, the one I laid down since Christ gave up His life to free me from death. So why, on this day, do I fret about living better? Because I’m raised to walk in newness of life with Him. I won’t get it right. This time next year, I’ll plan all over again. But The Editor is patient and forgiving. He knows I’m not too bright. He’ll clean up this overly red-inked habitually erred manuscript I recklessly tear through page after page, year after year. Maybe by my release date, I’ll learn something. Maybe not. With writing...with life, there's so much to get wrong. God knew all along he’d have to correct every stroke of my pen.

Happy New Year. I hope you keep your resolutions. As for me and mine, I’m not holding my humanly huffed breath. But God willing, 2015 will carry me nearer to His flawless plan.


  1. You wrote a great post. I am an editor, and I love this piece. I am linking to it in my post next week. Good work!

    1. Thanks for the link! BTW--I love my editor!