I don’t know where you are right now, but I’m stuck at a Starbucks east of Columbus, Ohio while my car gets worked on. I’m fine with it because I’m fond of coffee, people, writing, reading, and music, all of which I am or will be involved with to some degree or another before the morning is through.
I don’t know if you care, but I had to say something to get going.
The new year is fast approaching, and I don’t want it to take me by surprise. You don’t either, I presume, so I will go ahead believing that this means something to you.
I have some ideas regarding ways to approach January 1st, but I would like to let you in on one of my favorite strategies for attacking the unknown of a new year.
I learned this from one of my favorite people, and a guy whom I look up to in many areas of life: my pastor, Jonathan Rue.
He gives this wisdom when approaching a new year that I now give to you:
What is one word, phrase, or sentence that can serve as the scope through which you look for God to move in your life this year?
Do you get that? What is the theme, in a sense, that you believe God is already beginning or will begin in your life this next year?
This is something that requires some prayer, reflection, vision, and maybe even communication with friends, elders, or mentors. But, ultimately, this is merely an act of faith; stepping out and believing that God is doing and will do something(s) in your life, and putting words to it. And you could be wrong. But, so what? You gave it a shot. You care about what God is doing, and you care about your life. I think it’s worth a try.
Everyone in the world does new year’s resolutions. I don’t know the stats, but I know they don’t work a very unfortunate amount of the time. Maybe that’s because we make them so much about ourselves, and not much about Jesus.
The interesting thing about making goals or life changes is that when we make them all about us without any regard to Jesus, we miss out on Him, and we can often miss the mark. Or, if we do hit the mark, we realize it’s not as fulfilling as we had hoped.
But when we make goals or aspiring life changes with Jesus at the center, not us, we realize that it changes us more, is more fulfilling, and it changes those around us more deeply.
Because Jesus is a fount that overflows.
I challenge you to ask yourself that question. Begin thinking over the next few days and consider what it could be that God wants to do in you, through you, and with you this next year.
This is not a binding thing, but simply a hopeful way to pray and look for God. He can and will surprise you in all sorts of ways. This is a simple (yet possibly powerful) way to help you focus on what Jesus is doing in your life.