Remember the cartoons of a sleepwalking figure (like Olive Oil in Popeye the Sailorman) who ended up on a steel beam construction-site skyscraper? Every time she’s about to step off the ledge and plummet twenty stories to her death, another beam is raised. She teeters onto it, oblivious to her deadly situation.
Or, if you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks the Cheshire Cat which path she should take. The Cheshire Cat responds with a question, “Well, where are you going to?” She says she doesn’t know, and the cat profoundly replies, “Then one way is just as good as another.”
Life can sometimes feel like we’re fumbling around lost in the dark, guessing where to go next. Without setting our goals and priorities properly then the Cheshire Cat is right. One way might as well be as good as another. We don’t know.
One day, when I was young, I was gazing at the colorful gumballs in the grocery store gumball machine, when my mom walked out. I followed her through the automatic doors. She stopped to cross the parking lot, and I reached up to hold her hand. Except, to my horror, the woman wasn’t my mother. Panicked, I yanked my hand away and spun around frantically searching for my mom, who, much to my relief, just pushed our cart out onto the sidewalk.
Being led astray can be scary, but we don’t have to stay on that path. New Years is the perfect time to re-evaluate our lives, correct our mistakes and re-establish our priorities. It’s the perfect time to stop rushing around putting out fires we could prevent if we just took a second to be still and seek God’s path for our lives.
I know, I know, who has the time, right? Or the willingness? But if we have a plan and a purpose, then the unknowns of the future can turn into an awaiting adventure. A little advanced planning can save a boat-load of time later. Fortunately, God has provided a manual to guide us, and the Holy Spirit to direct our steps if we let Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). My husband is one of those odd people who enjoys setting goals. He’d already written his goals for 2018 back in November and developed a process to implement them. Here are some of his helpful hints for setting resolutions:
- Pray over your year and see what God reveals to you.
- Try to set a goal for different aspects of your life, for example: spiritual, personal (or social), work-related (or mental), and physical,
- Set realistic goals that are simple and attainable: See S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely).
- Chunk them down into smaller bite-sized goals with reasonable deadlines.
New Years is a time to get in-tune with God. Time to reflect on the previous year and plan for the next. If you let God be your guide, you can keep your eyes on the goal and stride forward with purpose, knowing God has prepared the way.
May God bless you in 2018. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, may you hear His voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it (Isaiah 30:21). May He be the light unto your feet and the lamp unto your path (Psalm 119:105). May He fill you with His hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11).
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