It’s that time of year when people all over the world take stock, start setting new goals and making fresh plans. However, the turn of a decade has us reflecting on a greater level than the average new year does.
I’m typically a five year plan kind of girl and very goal orientated. (I confess, also a bit controlling) I’m a firm believer in stewarding the gifts and opportunities that have been given to us well, rather than expecting God to drop things into our idle hands. However, 2019 has been challenging on many levels and few of my goals have been fulfilled. In the space between the work and the fruit I grew anxious, lost confidence, doubted my own abilities and what I thought was God’s leading.
My fears and emotions began to drive my behaviour, which only perpetuated the challenge. I started pushing to get things done in my own strength, I stopped speaking faith and it was incredibly tiring. Nevertheless, I was growing in ways that were necessary for my character and nurturing my relationship with God.
You know the story of The Tortoise and the Hare? The tortoise is slow but he’s steady. The hare on the other hand is far more capable it would seem, but he’s over confident and unstable. The hare naps part way through the race believing he has so much time, but wakes up a little too late. As the story goes, slow and steady wins the race.
What I love about the tortoise is that he wasn’t intimidated by the hare’s boasting and most significantly by his own limitations. There was only so fast he could go but he continued to put one foot in front of the other and kept his eyes fixed on the finish line. He had rhythm and he was consistent.
In his book, “Make Today Count”, John Maxwell describes managing his life daily, according to his “Daily Dozen”.
Just for today…I will determine and act on important priorities.
Just for today…I will know and follow healthy guidelines.
Just for today…I will communicate with and care for my family.
Just for today…I will practice and develop good thinking.
Just for today…I will make and keep proper commitments.
Just for today…I will earn and properly manage finances.
Just for today…I will deepen and live out my faith.
Just for today…I will initiate and invest in solid relationships.
Just for today…I will plan for and model generosity.
Just for today…I will embrace and practice good values.
Just for today…I will seek and experience improvements.
Just for today…I will act on these decisions and practice these disciplines.
And, then one day…I will see the compounding results of a day well lived
So, what am I saying? There are no grand claims about what I think I can accomplish on this side of the 10, although I believe many great things will happen throughout the years. I’m still holding to the vision and yes I’m still doing my quarterly planning, but this time it’s different. I’m less in a rush than I’ve ever been because I understand more than I ever have, that when we truly put our lives in God’s hands, He determines the pace for us according to His plans and purposes. According to how we need to mature, heal and grow, because He’s more concerned with who we’re becoming than the final destination.
There can be a fine line between surrender and apathy as there can be between ambition and pride. I’ll be watchful not to cross them, because striving is the cousin of anxiety and fear eats away at our faith, the very thing that will take us across the the finish line.