Trying to write the last blog post of the year is always a difficult task. Making sure it’s concise enough to read, but covers enough ground to make it influential and/or interesting…exhausting, to say the least.
We’ve all survived the Holidays. Is that a terrible way to put it? Let me reframe that – we survived the junk food we fill our bodies with, even while enjoying the family time, the laughter, the quality time, the celebrations and all of the sweet and dramatic moments that come in between. It’s a time of high emotions, both good and bad. And starting a New Year on that note can be difficult.
I want to leave you with a little tip as we leave 2017: There is nothing magical about January 1st.
We romanticize the first day of the year like it’s a magical totem that will increase our passion and motivation for a goal or a lifestyle change: It’s not. And often, it’s the catalyst for more disappointment.
In looking forward to 2018, I’ve chosen a word of the year, I’m working on choosing a passage of Scripture that I want to be my guide throughout the year, and I typically choose a quote that I can consistently go back to as well. (Because hey, who doesn’t love a really good quote, right?)
Most importantly, I’m looking at the things in 2017 that I want to let go of. What worked? What didn’t? Why didn’t those things work? How can I do the best things in 2018 and leave the worst behind?
I would encourage you to look closely at your own life – to be courageously honest – and to pinpoint the things, the decisions that you made, that made your life better or worse. It’s easy to pinpoint the outside forces that influenced our lives in a negative way and the way we rode out that wave. It’s harder to look at the waves we created and figure out WHY on earth we did that and HOW we can avoid doing it again. But, it’s so important for our personal growth to do this anyway.
2017 was an interesting year because we had quickly evolving socio-economic norms, especially if you live in America. Riotous conversation, lawsuits, change of Presidency – political changes – cultural changes – you name it, we faced it. And coming out unscathed was virtually impossible. Living out our Christianity in our daily praxis – the process of living – had some difficult moments, yet we persevered in living in love and grace. We persevered, anyway.
The scripture that comes to mind here is II Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” In this scripture Paul is referencing of his failures, his weaknesses, the things that He had asked the Lord to take from him – and yet, the Lord would not. As we strive to better ourselves, we will undoubtedly fail, yet our hope should be that the Lord is glorified in our failure when we have the right spirit and get up and try again. We strive for progress, knowing we will fall short of perfection, yet we persevere, anyway.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
You are capable of doing far more than you think: You have Christ leading you. You have breath inside you. You have purpose + all the tools necessary to make it. Go out, be courageous, create intentional change in your world in 2018, ANYWAY.
A few resources:
Let. It. Go.
Lara Casey Goal Setting: