Thursday, December 30, 2010

Old and new leaves, transitioning 2010 into 2011

We're "turning over a new leaf" in 2011, brushing aside the old foliage of the past year. Many of us make resolutions at this time of year. Some make elaborate plans to improve themselves. Others have simpler goals: 
  • "Be happier." 
  • "Lose the fat." 
  • "Exercise faithfully." 
  • "Read through the Bible." 
  • "Find a spouse."
  • "Attend church regularly." 
  • "Teach my children manners."
  • "Make friends at the office."
  • "Volunteer more."
  • Etc. We're shooting for big, general - and random - goals without planning details to reach them. Our resolutions are more sighs and wishes than strategic focus.
I usually land somewhere between well-articulated goals and sloppy evaluations. I take out my journal the last week of the year to reflect on what went right and what went askew. Then I think about what might be important in the new year.

Once again, I accomplished a few things I am happy about, but did a few things wrong. Being honest about what we did well is harder for some people than self-critique. Others only want to look back positively, reluctant to be honest enough to admit, "I was a flop at..." or, "I should have done better at..."

This year, I intend to compare journals of the past ten years, asking questions to expose three patterns:
  1. Are there successes and giftings that could be developed further in 2011?
  2. What do I resolve year after year that NEEDS a change in attitude or behavior? Can such a transformation be activated by spiritual growth or does it depend on other disciplines?
  3. What dreams are unrealized or unfulfilled? Am I hanging on to worthless ideals when God has changed my life's direction? Or are those dreams still worth pursuing? If so, how can I move step-by-step toward them?
I don't know how honest we can be with ourselves. We see through a glass dimly, not only when looking at God and others, but also when examining ourselves. Some day, scripture promises we will know as we are known. On that day, we will be stunned by our blindness, surprised by God's grace, and terrified by the extent of His mercy. 
In the meantime, I'm planning a few hours of solitude to meditation on scripture and reflect on my own journey. I want to move toward God's desires and opportunities in the coming days and months.

How will you bring 2010 to a close and walk into 2011?

Read more:
*Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

*We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:3-6 NIV

1 comment:

  1. another great, thought-provoking read....I kept thinking about the little fish in the Pixar film, Nemo, saying "just keep swimming..." I suppose that's what I will do in the transition from 2010 to 2011 -- swimming and praying ;-) xoxoxo