I love the hope of a new year. I love the thought that this year is going to be different. I don’t know about you but I think I say that every year…but I really am hoping 2017 is different from 2016.
To be honest, 2016 was not an easy year. There were transitions…there were challenges in some relationships and even in ministry. In addition to that, some close family members were hospitalized for an extended period of time after being in a serious car accident. In 2016, I attended 4 funerals, including my grandmother’s.
It just goes to show you that so much of our life is out of our control. But – and I say this cautiously – there are some things that I do have the ability to control. I have the power to make 2017 different.
And it starts with what I do everyday.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. ~John Maxwell
The unglamorous-routine-nothing to see here kind of days. The wake-up-go to work-come home-eat dinner-go to bed kind of days.
I can hear what you are saying now because it’s what I hear myself often saying…I don’t have time. I don’t have time to work out. I don’t have time for daily devotions. I don’t have time to add one more thing to my day.
But here’s the thing…the person I want to become is depending on the person I am now to make the time.
I believe this is the key:
“Rescue your time. Time won’t find you. You have to find it.” ~Jon Acuff
The problem is often we let the free time we do have gravitate towards things that aren’t really beneficial. And I get that. We all need down-time. But if we can just “rescue” some of that time back – that’s when life could change.
“The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless & sensual ease….I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Long spells of senseless & sensual ease… I don’t know what that looked like in the 1800’s when Oscar Wilde was alive but I know what it looks like in 2017 – a little Facebook scrolling, some Netflix binge watching, and Pinterest pinning.
Before I know it, my 5 minutes of internet surfing at the end of the day has turned into 20 minutes. (But at least I found some cool Pinterest projects that I’ll probably never do and I got to see that awesome cat video…again.)
Long spells of senseless & sensual ease…
He goes on to say – “I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace.”
I don’t want anything that starts with “www” and ends with “.com” to be the captain of my soul.
Sometimes, rescuing time for me looks like pulling up my Bible app while I am waiting on someone. Or maybe it means I take a walk during my break at work.
Even my use of Facebook/Pinterest/YouTube to unwind…the problem is that to be the person I want to become, social media likely won’t help me get there. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate Facebook and how it allows me stay connected to people. It’s even been a great tool for ministry and I will continue to use it accordingly. I even think there’s still a place for it when I want to relax. But when I have lost 20 minutes of awake time to it and I haven’t planted a seed in the person I want to become, then I have missed out. The person I want to become has missed out.
One of my resolutions for this year is to rescue my unwinding time in the evening and read instead. I started doing this and here’s what I found: I actually feel more relaxed after I read as opposed to if I’ve been on social media. Or I end up falling asleep. Win – win in my opinion.
Who do you want to become in 2017? What do you need to do to make it happen?
The future you is waiting.
Ephesians 5:15-17 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ….So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! 17 Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.