A Clean Slate

Yes, I know that at times I am a dinosaur regarding technology. On the other hand, I try to keep up with the latest apps on my iPhone and iPad. Yelp is helpful to find the best restaurant in an area. Airbnb shows me reasonable and interesting places to stay overnight instead of the standard Hampton Inn. Uber is a great option when traveling in a city without a car. Other apps have made my life easier with information just a few finger taps away.

One app that I am not totally committed to is the calendar. I have people staring wide eyed when my Dollar Tree calendar and graphed composition book are pulled out of my purse. You would think I had just revealed an old store ledger or Royal portable typewriter. I like to put down in print what I need to do and see it everyday. If I write things down I tend to remember the information better. This info can run the gamut of really important life material like whether to have back surgery to the mundane “to dos” of when to de flea the dog and ingredients to buy for Brunswick stew.

This past week I have been transferring my date and composition books to the new 2016. It is always a bit emotional as I look back at the crinkled pages of the past years. Going from page to page is like a gossamer of threads as I see whom I was meeting with in March, doctor appointments in September, and dinner parties in November. There were house guests, trips and date nights scheduled. Some pages were dedicated for books I wanted to read, movies to schedule on Netflix and of course the endless list of passwords used for every imaginable web site. Looking back on my year I see how many parts of my life have come together and other areas are still like mismatched puzzle pieces.

Having a visual picture helps me look back in gratitude for the year I have had and look forward to the year ahead. Right now the calendar is a clean slate. I am not talking about John Locke’s concept of the mind at birth as a blank slate, a tabula rasa, but my blank Dollar Tree calendar helps clear my mind for the new year. These calendar days are clean, blank, ready for my gel point pen. Soon they will be filled with regular appointments, birthdays, and anniversaries which I will honor. Before I write anything in each box of the calendar I recognize in my heart that my life needs to be cleared so He can direct what needs to happen and how to order my day. I can plan, make lists, scribble information down and push ahead but the Lord wants my hands and heart open first.

When I offer Him each day, hour, and minute, I begin to see Him fill in the pages and slots of my life so they make sense. This helps me not look back at past days ruminating with questions or remorse. Personal peace and rest come when I know God’s Spirit is present and will take my clean slate and fill it in. One quote that I found scribbled on the bottom of a page from last year was by Winston Churchill, “Let not the present fight with the past, or there will be no future.” I think Sir Winston might be on to something as we rest in the future of this calendar year.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Philippians 2:19 (NIV)


3 thoughts on “A Clean Slate

  1. I love the way the Lord has blessed you with the gift of expressing yourself so clearly in your writing. All you have said is so true and a great reminder as we press on toward the prize. Thank you dear friend.

  2. Thank you for reminding me that what is in the past is over, and to look forward to whatever God has planned for me in the future. I hope that I can let Him fill more of my slate this year. Thank you for your wonderful messages.

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