During the week preceding the start of a new year, news outlets like to give their list of key events. The year in review. The top ten songs, movies, people, events, quotes, whatever of 2021.

We might also do this as individuals, looking back at the key events in our personal lives, but our lives are not just a collection of events and activities. I do not want to downplay the role of singular events. Events like marriage, a death, and the birth of a child are significant events and can drastically reshape our lives. But we would do well to look at our lives as a whole. Did I live life well in 2021?

Michael Kimmelman knows a thing or two about art and architecture. He is the architecture critic for the New York Times, but in his opinion, the greatest work of art is life itself. The “art” is not in reference to any one thing you did, but the whole of your life—all your words and actions curated together into something grand: your life.

The Irving Berlins and Paul McCartneys are not remembered for one song they wrote. We note the whole catalog of songs, citing them as great songwriters. We do the same with the da Vincis and Michelangelos, marveling at the men because of the incredible collection of art they created.

Your life should not be defined by a single event. Yes, some events are significant—highly significant—but you are more than one solitary event. My wedding was a key event in my life, but what matters is how I’ve lived out that marriage over the years. As a follower of Christ, I contend that a decision to follow Christ is extremely significant, but you are more than a one-time decision. Christians are not defined by a single prayer of commitment, but how they lived out that commitment every day.

As you look toward 2022 and ponder what life will be like in the next year, don’t let your focus simply be on events. Let your focus be on how you live. To borrow from Michael Kimmelman, live your life as a work of art. And let that work of art point to the Artist in your life.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10, NLT).

There is beauty even in the ordinary things of your life, in the daily routine. Ask God to help you see the beauty in the ordinary. As you live to honor and please Christ—even in the most mundane of activities—you are living as a beautiful work of art.

Live your life as a beautiful act of worship.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship” (Rom. 12:1 CSB).

May the beauty of a life well lived in Christ define your life in 2022.

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