Happy new year all! I hope that it has been just as happy as the phrase commands and if your new year has not been a bed of roses (maybe that’s the wrong saying because a rose bed would be quite prickly) maybe if your new year has been a bed of roses, thorns hidden amongst the festive cheer, then I hope the year to come brings the happiness that has escaped the season. The new year is usually laden with corny phrases and lacklustre determination to achieve the goals that will make this the year that changes it all. For some lucky lotto winners this is literally the year that things started looking up with the addition of two more mere mortals turned millionaires, but for the majority of us it’s singing the same ‘new year, new me’ tune, people begin to question why they’ve been out on the planet which comes alongside a drive to find ones purpose and for those who feel like they’ve found it, a list of resolutions to help them achieve it.
This year I have missed the new year self transformation boat and January has felt like the 13th month of the year, with the only difference being the waves of excitement I feel in knowing that this year I will tie the knot and marry the man I can’t wait to do life with. Not a single New Years resolution in sight, I have stopped chasing for the new me that I hadn’t seen fit to find in 2015.
1. I’ve accepted that the old me was already on a journey of improvement which has continued on
2. I’m so excited about 2016 I haven’t had the times to fret about my shortcomings and to worry about what my future holds.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slating those of you who have written your list and are trusting God to help you achieve everything therein. It just dawned on my that there is more to life than chasing goals and wishing you had a raison d’être. Before you pick up your pitch-forks let me explain the blasphemy.
What am I grasping at?
Do I firmly believe you are created for a purpose? Yes
Do I want you to achieve all that God has for you? Yes
Do I want you to be consumed trying to figure out what you’re meant to do, whilst life passes you by? Definitely not
All I all I just can’t muster the energy to make January all about me.
It is important to have a vision and to follow up that vision by setting goals, but it is also important to not get blind-sighted trying to find your purpose you forget to use the gifts you know you’ve been blessed with for the purpose we all share. Whatever my goals are, if they don’t play a part in loving the Lord my God with all my heart and all my soul or loving my neighbour as I love myself then it’s likely they fall into the self gratification scheme of things or the get rich motive many of us keep on a back burner.
There is a lot of benefit in using this year to get fit and to progress in your career but if the only person you’re loving with your goals is yourself, I think now is the time to make room for some more.
A couple of days ago I sat opposite a woman on the tube who was clearly fighting tears. As I searched in my bag for something resembling tissues a was relieved I could offer her some unused Pret serviettes which she accepted and then let the waterworks flow. I sat opposite her and I squirmed. Should I get up and hover next to her trying to speak to her through the glass on the end of the carriage or should I crouch in front of her and completely freak her out by trying to not tumble and speak sense at the same time? After a couple of stops of debating with myself the woman sitting next to her got off and suddenly I was faced with a whole new dilemma: to move or not to move. I’d just been tweeting about speaking to people you wouldn’t normally speak to and I could see God staring at me asking if I was going to be all mouth and no motion. I decided to man up and began a conversation that started with small talk about tissues and ended in us sharing a genuine squeeze as she thanked me. I didn’t do much. I didn’t preach about how Jesus could save her from all her problems, even though I believe he can. I didn’t use it as an opportunity to talk salvation and the imminent nature of hell, despite being fully aware of the importance of giving ones life to Christ. What I did do was lend an ear and offer a hug midway to a stranger who looked like she needed a cuddle.
I’m not sure what your purpose is, I don’t even know the full extent of mine, what I do know is that we are commissioned first and foremost to love. First our God, and then each other, and with each breath we need to make it our mission to do so.
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Romans 13:8-10 NKJV
Instead of #newyearnewme Why not use 2016 to see where love can take you. I can say I love therefore I lean in for an awkward hug with a crying woman? What will you let love cause you to do. If you have any experiences where you’ve been able to step outside of yourself to show love I’d love to hear about them 🙂