I want to expand on both of them in time, but I don't think it's right to write anything about restoration, yet. Not so early on in the year. Anyway, I get the feeling that one's 100% down to God - and I'm happy to leave it to him. His plan will be far better than anything I have in mind, anyway. But I'm looking forward to telling the stories.
Instead, today I'm going to talk about passion, and what it means for me now.
2014 was a year when I discovered - or rediscovered - so many things that I'm passionate about.
Those of you that know me reasonably well will be all too aware that I have a tendency to get slightly obsessed by things when I either discover them for the first time, or rediscover them after having forgotten about them. The intensity and duration of my fascination varies, but it's a fairly regular occurrence. Last year was no exception - but there seemed to be an unusually high number of things that I got really passionate about.
These things included: baking, camping, coaching, coffee, counselling, football, lipstick, long conversations about everything and nothing, politics, prayer, pub quizzes, reading the Bible, reading in general, rugby, spending time in nature, tea, working with young people and writing.
Just a couple of things, then.
I want 2015 to be the year that I begin to pursue those passions more intentionally. Of course, that won't apply to all of them. I'm over the lipstick thing, for example.
Some of them seem quite silly. I know I need to set some of them aside this year (or at least put them on the back burner for a time). Pub quizzes, for one, don't tend to bring out my most Christ-like qualities. But some of them (passions, not quizzes) are really important, and I know that pursuing some of them could have a significant effect on the direction of my life.
There's more to it even than that, though. I believe that the things I'm passionate about speak volumes about my life, what my priorities are and where I'm at. They're usually things that - at least for a short time - I can't, won't and don't shut up about, so I'm setting the pursuit of one particular passion at the top of my agenda for the next twelve months:
I want 2015 to be the year that I become passionate about Jesus in a whole new way.
I want to take it to a completely different level. I'm not quite sure what that's going to look like just yet, but putting it in writing here is my way of really committing to doing that this year. Setting that as my absolute top priority for the year will determine the direction - and the extent - of my pursuit of those other things, as well as anything else that might come along as the year unfolds. I can't do it without God's help. But something tells me that He'll be only too happy to help out with this one, and He'll do it in ways I can't even imagine at the moment. That gets me pretty excited.