Oil and Water

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskin. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.” Luke 5:37 (NIV)

Every December 31, since 2009, my two best friends and, I have each sat down to write our take on a New Year’s resolution list, a “honey-do-list.” Taking the time to reflect over the past year’s ups and downs and writing out things we want to see ourselves accomplish in the coming year has a real way of putting things in perspective.

Because we’re all best friends, we write not only to ourselves but to each other. These letters are filled with honest love, as we only want to see each other become the best women we can possibly be. After we write our letters, we then read them aloud for accountability purposes.

Mid-way through each year, we take a break from our routine hustle and bustle and re-read our “honey-do-lists.” I LOVE this part, because it helps us see what on our lists we’ve accomplished thus far, and how much further we still need to go. Re-reading the list can also be kind of funny because sometimes, what was so important on December 31 doesn’t seem so important in June or July.

In preparation for my 2013 “honey-do-list” I began to really think about the past year and even more so, anticipate the coming year. As I began to pray about the past year and the coming year, a single phrase kept resonating in my spirit.
Oil and Water.
We’ve all heard the saying “oil and water just don’t mix,” but as it’s been a while since my last science class, I let my inner nerd out and did a little research.

In my research, I came across a video titled “How to Make an Ocean in a Bottle.” Sounds pretty cool, huh? The premise of the video is to illustrate how oil and water don’t mix by putting oil, water and blue food coloring in a clear bottle. Tilting the bottle back and forth, you can see the oil floating on top of the now blue water. Thus, an ocean in a bottle.

The more the scientist in the video tilted the bottle, the more intense the “waves” became and at one point it almost looked like a storm.

Much like the ocean in the bottle, there is an ocean inside each of us. The ocean is comprised of our flesh and our spirit. Like oil and water, the two don’t get along very well. And, like the experiment, the more shaken up we become, the more it can feel like a storm is taking place inside of us.

Have you ever been in a position or a situation where you can almost feel your spirit and your flesh at war? Perhaps someone says something to you and your emotions and flesh quickly rise up but just as quickly your spirit checks you? What about those days when you “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” and spend the day fighting for your joy?

Whether you’re making a New Year’s Resolution List or a “Honey-Do-List” for 2013, be prepared for those oil and water moments. Commit this year to being your “faith” year. Yes, losing weight, putting down cigarettes and saving money are all great goals but I challenge you to do something a different this year. Make one resolution or add one item to your “honey-do-list” that involves a huge step of faith. Honoring God and staying close to Him will allow you to recognize those oil and water moments.

Anytime you aspire to make a change in your life, it requires faith and a trust in God. Your flesh is going to talk you down every time. Your flesh is not going to want to release your plans, old habits and comfort zone for the unfamiliar path of true faith. But by keeping your eyes set on the things of the Kingdom, you can overcome your flesh and calm the storm.