Does anyone remember New Years 2020? I know I do, it seemed that the thing to do was get on social media, joke/whine about how bad 2019 had been and then say how much you were gonna rock 2020!
The joke was definitely on us.
Of course, that’s not how *I* spent my early days of 2020. No, instead I was having my own personal anxiety attack about a lovely trip to Hawaii I was going on with my husband. Any normal person would have loved the idea of a freeish trip to Hawaii...I apparently wasn’t one of them. ( Read more about what I learned on that trip here).
All said and done, as I reflect back at both the world and myself- I would hope that we are going into 2021 a little wiser. I don’t think many of us carry the selfish optimism that we had last year- the only thing I’m sure of is that I’m going to really miss getting to yell “2020!” any time something bad happened as the perfect explanation and covering of all ills….20-21 just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way...
But I digress, the point being is that we probably can all agree we’re going into this year a little more worn, a little more cautious and hopefully wiser?
So instead of the lovely and optimistic ( which I still stand by, by the way) podcast series we did to start 2020, I’ll tell you that focusing on these three main things in the coming year, will help us far more than a specific goal or resolution ever will!
Seek the Kingdom of Heaven
No matter what the next 365 days bring, I pray that this be the Question and Purpose on all our minds.
What is happening in the Kingdom of Heaven? What is God up to? And HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?! I yelled that last sentence because that’s how important I feel it is.
If there is anything the last year taught me (and honestly any history lesson will teach you something similar) when it comes to humanity, the Lord moves the most mightily when things are often at their hardest. So no matter the circumstances, let us beg the Lord to show us His Hand. Ask Him to give us wisdom in how we can be involved in the work He is doing amongst the seeming chaos of the world.
Seek His Voice
This goal is connected to the first quite closely. If I am not in God’s word on a daily basis, then the likelihood that I’ll miss God’s voice and or misinterpret God’s voice goes up exactly 96.7 percent.
I made up the numbers there, but you get the idea. If we are not hearing directly from the Word of God ourselves then we’re sadly missing out on the most personal part of the “personal relationship” with Jesus. Listening to a Pastor or teacher is wonderful and recommended, but if we do not read or listen to the Bible ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through it to us, we’re missing out.
I’ve seen this even with my own children. It’s magical (and only a *tad* frustrating) when I’ve told them some great truth over and over and then later they come to me, and because of their own personal experience-everything has clicked! They’re owning it themselves! We must seek His Voice daily for ourselves. Only then will we “get it.”
If you’re anything like me (and I hope you’re not) then you’re pretty good at making excuses for yourself. I mean, “I’m all about *you* memorizing scripture but here’s the long list regarding why I shouldn’t have to do it…” or "I get that reading my Bible every day is good, but I'm just not a reader..."
So, all that to say, let’s stop with the excuses. Way back in March when 2020 was just started to tell us what kind of a year it was cracked up to be, I was dealing with the new reality of having my kids home with me all day, every day, with no end in sight. It was then that I came up with the genius plan to take a daily walk with them. We’d drive to a local trail and we’d walk a mile and then we’d drive home. The change of scenery, the exercise, the fresh air, it was truly crucial to my very fragile mental state. Now, remember, this was March. So a few weeks into our new routine of taking daily walks the forecast predicted 3 days straight of Spring rain. For a second, I considered that we’d just not take our walks. Seemed the only logical solutions really. The circumstances all pointed to no. And yet. And yet, I then remembered my fragile mental state. I knew it could not handle missing three straight days of walks. I went online and ordered rainboots and umbrellas for everyone. And we walked in the rain.
Cut to a few months later when temperatures started to get unbearable hot. Once again I was faced with giving up our daily walks, and once again I remembered my fragile mental state. This time I bought jelly beans (if you bribe your kids with sugar every time they complain about sweat they really will be ok. I’m filled with good parenting advice.) and a giant water bottle. Walks continued.
I hope you see the spiritual connection here. Truth be told, we are all Spiritually fragile all the time, and the world is constantly throwing Spring Rain and hot temperatures our way in the form of all sorts of Worldly priorities and circumstances. If I could be just as dedicated regarding my focus on Christ and His Kingdom this next year, as I was about our daily walks, then 2021 is gonna rock!