The year is about to turn a page from 2016 to 2017. Just another day in reality, but we assign great meaning to it out of tradition. We use it as an opportunity to reassess our lives and to make promises to do appropriate steps toward change.
Why do we tend to start resolutions with great gusto and heart felt enthusiasm yet often give up within a short time? Is it because life is busy? Perhaps, it seems like a reasonable explanation but I think it goes far deeper than that. What do we default to when under stress? It is usually activities that give us a warm, fuzzy feeling, giving us an endorphin boost…old habits, often detrimental ones.
What do we want to spend our time doing, especially when we are tired or stressed? Activities that we love to do, ones that require little effort or thought…and, most especially, ones that we are passionate about. That is the reality. We will suffer through uncomfortable circumstances to achieve those types of goals. My husband would work in the baking sun all day long on his race boat and toil long hours into the night to get a motor fixed for the next day’s racing…but ask him to go to the gym, never. He did was he was passionate about...and so do we.
So, what can make us passionate about things you know we should do? The bottom line is we need to grab hold of a different reason for doing it…or perhaps it needs to grab hold of us. That will only happen if we change our perspective. If we see it as the enemy, we will never go near it, let alone do it. If we see it as helpful and yes, desirable, then we will go the end of the earth to obtain it.
New goal for 2017: finding that one thing in the necessary lifestyle change that will make you go to the end of the earth to achieve it. What is it in that activity that could possibly give you that wonderful endorphin buzz? Find that little gem and your whole world could be transformed.
So, I challenge you this week. Do not merely say that you need to lose weight or exercise more or spend more time with your kids or partner. Ask yourself what benefit these activities will make you feel happier, more fulfilled, relaxed or loved. Find those keys and you discover roots that anchor you. Those foundations will sustain you on the crummy days when life stresses you beyond your endurance and keeps you fixed on a worthwhile goal.
I Pray that you first Ask the Lord for Wisdom this New Year; then Ask for His Steps for achieving His Will for your Life. God will never Ask you to Do anything, He is not Willing to Provide the wherewithal to Accomplish it. Ask in Faith, no matter how small your Faith is. He Will Answer, not always in the Way you predicted, but He is always Faithful to Answer and to Provide.
Remember this New Year’s Eve that God Loves you and I Love you. May you and your loved ones be tremendously Blessed in 2017!
We are now on the final countdown to Christmas day...a Day of wonder that commemortaes the promise for the future King. He did come, He lived among us, He died for us to make the final Sacrifice on our behalf so we may come boldly to the throne of Grace, He Rose again and is now seated at the right hand of our Father in Heaven...and is with us daily through His Holy Spirit Whom He Sent to be with us daily, every moment of every day!
This season can also be a challenge for families. We are often thrust together in gatherings with people who often have the knack of rubbing us the wrong way. It may be for many unspoken reasons, sometimes forgotten, sometimes harboured and wrapped in resentment. It can be challenging to be among them at a time that should be celebratory and light hearted. We all have those people or that one person in our lives, if we choose to admit it.
Can I be bold enough to make a small suggestion? Would it be possible to approach this potential irritation with a different attitude? I know that the holiday season often causes us to be tired and more vulnerable to being short tempered, but is it possible that we choose to give that one person a 'gift' this Christmas? I am suggesting that we give the Gift of Love to that person. It might mean closing your ears to a negative statement, or giving a hug to a porcupine, or offering Patience to someone who has none, or allowing your mother-in-law to make the gravy (and not the way you like it)... Whatever you might offer that person to make the day go just a little smoother, might end up being a gift to everyone present at your gathering.
By keeping in mind (and Heart) the Gift of Peace at our celebrations this year, we might start a trend to offer the same Gift to one person each day all year long. It is not that they 'deserve' it based on their behaviour, but because we are Honouring our Lord Jesus as He Came to us on this earth to offer us the Gift of Reconciliation with our Heavenly Father. We too can pass along this Gift one person at a time...sometimes with just a smile...
Merry Christmas one and all!!!
Judith Utman is the author of Voices in the Wilderness.