I'm not necessarily talking about New Year's Resolutions, although there is nothing wrong with that. New Year's Resolutions don't seem to resonate for me. However, I have some loose goals that I'd like to achieve, all with the knowledge that God is known to shake things up a bit in my life, sometimes for the seeming worse but, ultimately, for the better. Jeremiah 29:11-13 readily comes to mind:
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.I've lost count how many times I've thought things were not going right, not going to *my* plan, but when I employ patience to ride the times out, things DO miraculously work out, and the results are better than I ever could've imagined.
There's a lot to be said about changing what you can change and having the wisdom to accept what you cannot change. Nationally, we're living in religious and political upheaval affecting a variety of social facets, horrifically void of true balance. On both extremes, accusations and charges are hurled at each other, leaving the American people at a point in which something WILL give--the American people are on the brink of being fed up of being ignored and essentially abandoned. Globally? Oh, wow, where do I start? Sometimes the advent of the Internet (thanks, Al Gore, lol) is a horrible thing. Eeeeeeev-er-y-th-ing is on the Internet--the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's good that there is technology to find out what the bad guys are doing, but it's bad when you cannot do anything about the situations, especially when it deeply matters to you. The few-millennia-old Middle East conflicts that are enjoying another swell of resurgence are enough to make anyone fearful and crazy. Growing world battles affecting America is reaching another all-time high.Will there ever be an end? I believe in God's due time, there will be. I'm resting in that promise because there is nothing else I can do.
My all-time favorite passage that discusses what we should have on our minds comes from Philippians 4:4-9, but specifically verse 8:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.If I concentrated on the news the way some of my friends do, I would be committed into an insane asylum. No joke. I don't have it in me to be saturated by such horrible news, as seems prevalent in this world. That does not mean I'm devoid of news...not at all. I just tend to put up a filter that keeps negative news from staying on my mind. If there is any way I can help with bad news, I'm more than happy to do it, but when I can't, I can't afford to be worried about what I cannot try to change. Pray without ceasing. I think that's what Paul says. THAT I can do!
Amidst all the seeming evils in this world are people who make a positive difference in the lives of others. YouTube has been flooded with joyful moments that make you think, wonder, admire, laugh, and share. I think I've seen more animal YouTubes this year than reading all of National Geographic magazines I read as a kid, or watching all the Animal Planet shows combined. Animals are great teachers...sometimes not in such good ways, but teachers, nonetheless. Individually, but en masse, people have really good hearts, and there's so much joy watching people be good to each other. I think the theme of 2014 in some ways is, Pay It Forward. People are interested in the well-being of others. People want to lift other's spirits when they can. One person may not make that much of a difference to many, but for many that one person makes all the difference in the world.
There are a few things I'd like to accomplish for 2015. There are a few places I'd like to go. There are a few things I'd like to learn. There are a few things that inspire me, and I'd like to be an inspiration to others. I like making people feel better, even if the only thing I can do is listen or say a prayer. In 2015, I'd like to do more of that.
I'm content with my home life. There's always room for improvement, but I'm blessed in having a home when so many do not. Married life is good. Parenthood? Well, I could use some wisdom and grace to make me a better parent. With a teen and a tween in the house, things are liable to be a little bumpy in 2015, but I can put on my seatbelt and hang on like the next parent! I'm still entrusted to help raise them! (God help them, lol). I suspect my walk with my Lord will be a little challenging this year. I welcome the challenge. I may drag my feet in the gravel, but I'll eventually surrender and realize that this will help me have the best 2015 ever! My soul already prospers, now for my life to prosper, too, as in 3 John 2:
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Have a most BLESSED and HAPPY NEW YEAR!