It’s Monday. We are five days into a new month, a new year! I am already stressed. Here’s why.
Like I said in a post last week, I like to set aside a “planning day” with God at the beginning of a new year. I haven’t done that yet. So, I have got lots of tentative good things to do this year rolling around in my head. Nothing is firm yet, but lots of good possibilities just buzzing back and forth in my head. It drives me crazy. I’ll be in the midst of contemplating something that needs to be done, like Hebrews preparation, laundry, or grocery list making and WHAM! a spastic thought flies by and I lose my concentration on the moment’s “must do”.
How do I treat those things when they “pop up”? I say to myself, “Self, you have not discussed this with your Lord and Savior so you cannot make that a firm ‘yes’ yet.”
What things are buzzing around? You’re going to be sorry you asked. Here goes:
Never mind. I had a list a mile long and thought better than to post it, so I erased it.
A lot of the pop-ups deal with spiritual growth Nothing wrong with that. But, there are only so many hours in a day and furthermore, what’s my motivation for putting that on the year’s list of things to do? Is it because “so and so” is doing it as a part of this group and well, I want that, too? Here’s the reality on that. If I do ALL these good spiritual things, I won’t be outside of a Bible for days on end. That’s not reality. While studying and preparing to teach I still need to be fed, too, but I can’t do it all. Even those really cool good things. I still have to care for my household, walk, visit with people, etc. If my head’s in the Word building up knowledge but not living it out, then what am I? I think Paul said “a clashing cymbal, a gong.” One of my birthday presents was s new ESV study Bible. I would love to just study it for hours on end, but the reality is that I can’t. I can over a long time by taking small amounts of time to look at it, read it, study it.
Some of those pop-ups sound a lot like resolutions. I do not have a good track record with resolutions. I’ve joined a variety of weight-loss programs and have succeeded until the weight came back. I guess that’s not really success. That’s not one of the things pinging in my head, although I would like to be “more fit”. That sounds good and I am doing what I can do in that department with walking, although I have developed plantars fasciitis in my right foot. Great…..
Anyway, we seem to have a pattern at this point of every year. We have decisions to make towards some goals as we evaluate where we’ve been in the past year and how we’d like to live differently in the present year. So, we’ll set some goals (resolutions, perhaps) and then the reality of life will set in (plantars fasciitis) and we’ll just have to do the best we can and try really hard to not kick ourselves. Being flexible is difficult for me. However, that seems to be a lesson God keeps trying to teach me year after year and through a variety of situations.
That is life. Hence, the equation for the title. You want to know what I had written originally? It was “goals + reality = failure” and I decided that was too negative and honestly, a lie.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals. The response to the disappointment of reality setting in to change the path, well that’s where my problem comes. That’s the fork in the road for me. It doesn’t mean “I’ve failed”. Boy, I have thought that for so long, however. You see, I determine success by the accomplishment of the goal. The reality is that maybe if I’ve done what I could do toward a goal and it didn’t turn out as I had hoped, then maybe that wasn’t God’s goal for me. That does NOT mean I failed. Perhaps my goal wasn’t His or maybe the timing is off on my deadline for meeting the goal.
Obviously, that’s one area (huge area) that I need to address with God on our planning day and I am positive He’ll show me some Word that will offer me grace and truth, perhaps motivation, too that will help me as I deal with the reality of life. I also know that when He and I have our special day He will be good to point out some of those good things that keep popping up in my head are not His best things for me at this time. I hope I’ll be listening to Him and obedient to heed His call.
I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m praying for a day (6 hours straight) apart to just meet with Him. I covet your prayers for that.