It was our church carol singing night tonight. I wasn't really enthusiastic about going, though if you asked me why not, I would have found it hard to come up with a reason. I think it is just general laziness on my part! I don't like cold, dark nights and the idea of being out in one when I could be at home, warm and cosy, didn't help.
I am aware that being enthusiastic about anything right now is hard. I think it is most likely because it is the end of term and I am worn out with fourth year reports writing. After all my hysterics earlier on, I managed to get them done well before the deadline.
I have been aware of a creeping lethargy spiritually. I have not wanted to do more than just keep the batteries ticking over. I am not throbbing with spiritual vitality and that bothers me.
In the back of my mind, I think that I will wait until the holiday begins and then I will get myself straightened out and back on track. I am not a New Year resolution maker. In the past I have made them and broken them, just like anyone else. I googled "Christian New Year resolutions" and got informed by one site that resolutions have to be birthed in God and not in human effort.
Then I found Jonathan Edwards' resolutions. At the age of 17 he began writing resolutions, which he added to over the years, read every week and put into practice. I think that as I read through them, I was convicted about how lazy I am about my faith. If it happens, it happens, but I don't appear to be doing much to make it happen! I haven't become lazier over the years, I think I have always been lazy!
One of them which really struck home was "Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's." It is because I act as if I were my own that I inwardly complain about having to go out and sing carols! As I read his words, I was reminded that I do not belong to myself any longer, but to God. If He has said to go and sing carols, then I should not complain, but gladly go and do what He says.
I found myself experiencing a real turnabout in my attitude and spent a good half hour praying about the response we would get, about the words of the carols speaking to the hearers, about worshipping and not just singing. I was reminded about the angels declaring to the shepherds the message of Jesus' birth, and how the song has never stopped being sung. It was amazing.
Once out there, I felt we were singing not just to the people who lived in the Raigmore estate, but to God and his angels. We sang well!