So I was scrolling through Twitter (mindlessly feeding my addiction, gah) during the latter parts of January and I kept seeing tweets expressing that January had been a dress rehearsal of some sort, and that February would truly mark the beginning of 2016.
At first, I laughed. Of course I laughed. Twitter, my favourite app of all, is always making me chuckle because of the crazy things I see on there (if you find it boring, you’re following all the wrong people; the key is to strike the balance between the righteous and rachet people you follow).
As I continued to scroll, I realised that this feeling was shared by numerous people. Of course being the overthinker that I am, I began to evaluate my own experience of January. Had I been successful in accomplishing the goals I’d set for myself? Had I left behind all the things I said I would? Had I done all of the things I said I’d do?
I vowed to leave behind various things; comparing myself to people, food that would make me sick, being reduced to my mistakes, being inconsistent – the list goes on. Yet, as I sat with my thoughts, I realised that I had failed miserably.
I once wrote a paper on why people fail to reach their goals (my degree is in Psychology) so I can pretty much sum up, with evidence, why I failed to reach my goals in the first month of 2016. Evidence aside though, it irks me – truly irks me- that I have failed so early on in the year. I have failed myself, and most importantly, I have failed God, who I am convinced looks upon my actions at times, and wants to throw a lightning bolt up my behind.
Last month marked the beginning of a fresh chapter in our lives, and like all new things, we loved January, embraced it and clung to it, enjoying its freshness and its clarity. But then it became dirty; we used to it and by using it, it began to lose its freshness and its shine. Soon, January spoke only of our mistakes, our failings, and our inability to execute the ideas birthed in our minds.
January was burdened, heavy with our hopes and dreams, weighted by our expectations, ones it could arguably not live up to. It struggled and eventually cracked under the pressure, and so like those on Twitter, we are looking to February, its younger, sweeter sister who has no wear and tear, no indelible marking; she is shy, coy, new and promises to be better to us. But will she?
I think instead of placing unrealistic expectations on 29 days, or even 2016, we need look to each new day as an opportunity to begin again.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday, I sinned. The day before, I sinned. The day before that, I sinned. I fail every single day at being the Christian I wish I could be. Usually, I take a few days to nurse my wounds, avoid God, pretend everything is okay, and then around the 3-day-mark, I crawl back to God and apologise for the latest indiscretion.
I’m trying this new thing where instead of running from God, I run to him – as soon as possible. Instead of pretending I didn’t completely mess up, I say,
‘Hey, God, so you know that thing I did…that I keep doing…I’m sorry. Help me to be better – because you know that’s all I’d liked to be’.
It doesn’t rid me of the guilt but it forces me to face myself, to face the God who I love but continuously let down in one way or another. I will never be perfect but I can strive for an open relationship with the Father, one where I lay all my ishhh bare (hoping) knowing that His grace is sufficient.
I welcome February, I welcome tomorrow, I welcome every day; instead of focusing on my failures, on my inability to execute my goals as I would like, I will do my best to focus on God. At the end of the day, when the lights go down and there’s no one around, He is all I have.
I hope you have a good day,