Chilly as always, January's greeting knocked softly this morning speaking of colder times to come. During my exercise time, I finished off Stephen King's wonderful book on the life and craft of writing and was amused by his story of naming a certain story "1408."

Add the individual numbers up, you get "13". That cursed, mystical number - a friend to people like Mr. King who write of the odd and mysterious. A perfect title.

I prepared for a day with the daughter, brewed a pot of tea and sat quietly with this verse on my mind: Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you. 

Today, 12/31/12, is a day for things drawing near. Indeed, we're all addicted to the adrenaline of a flipping calendar page in the same way that we're charmed by "new car" smell or the hum of new technology in our twitching hands, but there is something redemptive about that calendar change.

It is said that the Mayans didn't intend for the close of their calendar to be the end of the world, but a spiritual renewal. A new beginning.

So, we approach "6." 2013 added up. What does "6" mean to you?

For some, "6" is a biblically dark number. A trio of which creates fear and memories of the first time we read Revelation and nearly soiled ourselves out of fear that the beautiful ferocity of God could produce such a fantastic, cataclysmic tale.

For others, "6" is how many weeks they have been sober.

The number of weeks a white-coated voice had set out for the remainder of their days.

The number of children needing to be fed on the fruits of unemployment.

The number of times they had been forgiven for their signature sin, just one short of the industry standard Peter assumed Jesus was working from.

One more, and Jesus would have to do some serious multiplication. 70 x 7 is optimistic for some of us.

With that pleasant sting of tea gone by still clinging to my tongue, I think of my "6." In the coming year, what must happen for the Mayan-esque renewal that I need?

I fight the desire to make a list, bulleted by my writing software into some sort of orderly plan with no understanding of the everyday reality that I live in. A list can't think, feel, dream or fail. Instead, I become subject to it. I fail the list, and the guilt begins to pile and ribbon like batter in a freshly greased pan.

Then it strikes me, in the murky grey of a pre-frozen Illinois world, there is one thing that "6" must hold for me.

I must become like Him. Walk in Jesus' steps. One item, one list. One Spirit pushing me on to truth and memory (John 14:26) when I lose the plot and get caught up in the washing tides of every day.

Bring on the "6." I have a list.

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