The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assemblycommemorated with trumpet blasts.
Tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year. It is marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, the time each fall when one is to examine one's heart and life. It begins with the sounding of the shofar, the trumpet-like call of the rabbi blowing the ram's horn, for the intent of waking up mankind from the slumber of his apathy, laziness and spiritual negligence.
The first of the year. For the purpose of setting God back on the throne of the heart, giving Him the preeminence that is His. Making Him first.
First things first.
This past week, I spoke on priorities and looking at what comes first in our lives. The Barna Group recently released a new study that examined the spiritual lives of believing women. It is a four part study you can see here.
It was reassuring to see that the majority of today's Christian women say that they are spiritually fulfilled, that over 70% consider themselves spiritually mature and in touch with God.
It seemed to me there were some voodoo economics revealed in the study. Not on the part of the Barna Group. But on the part of us.
Even with those glowing percentages of spiritual fulfillment and maturity springing from the page, there was some glaring lack of self-awareness.
When asked how they primarily identified themselves, women at a ratio of 62% saw themselves first as mothers.
13% saw themselves as Christ followers first.
As a woman mothering eight children, I get it. Mothering at its best is a mission, a calling, a sacrificial pouring out of life and heart and effort.
We can allow it to be all-consuming.
It goes to our cores as women, this business of taking care of our offspring.
But should it be our first identifier when asked who we are?
Respectfully, biblically, no.
We should be Christ followers who have been given the privilege of mothering, not mothers who think that somehow the act of being a mother 'makes' us Christian.
I needed that shofar call of that Barna study. I needed a horn blast to the soul, a jolt to awaken to what I'm putting first, what is coming second, what is coming in for leftovers.
As a mom who is a Christ follower, it's easy for me to let things get a little sloppy. Let the pressures of running a full household get in the way of focused prayer. Devotion. Praise.
So I need to be a Christ follower who is a mom. A woman who keeps God on the throne in her priorities, her calendar, her parenting, her chores, her work, her marriage.
I love new beginnings.
I love the chance to turn the page. And write afresh.
And right afresh.