I love the New Year. There’s something about it that makes change possible. But. Then again. Changing because it’s the New Year never has sustained change in me. For me, there has to be a reason to change. And, I need a doable plan that balances adding and deleting from my life.
I have a list of things that I know need to be changed, all of which has to do with simplifying— getting rid of the things that don’t belong, making room for only what matters. It’s an ongoing process as far as I’m concerned. There was a time when I thought it would take a few days out of my life to get it all together. Decades later, I’m still at it.
First thing I have to do is delete, discard, and dump. When I let go of the unnecessary, I’m released from the pressure and weight of it all. I can’t add until I subtract, to make room for what matters.
I’m not just cleaning out the unnecessary in my closets but in every part of my life, including—
my thoughts, attitude, and emotions—
my dreams, desires, and hopes—
my heart and spirit—
my relationship with God, family, and friends—
my home, office, car, and even my brief case—
my daily schedule, to-do-list, and calendar of events.
I used to tackle one area of my life at a time, but, I’ve come to see that it’s all connected. So, I need to determine what’s mostly weighing me down. There’s times everything has come together after letting go of one worrisome thought.
Years ago, when my kids were very young, I needed to have a medical procedure. There was minimal risk. Even, so, my insurance would not cover much of the expense and recovery required a minimum of a week off from work. AND, I was told to expect a significant amount of pain in the recovery process. WOW.
I did not have the resources to cover the cost, the time needed to recover, or the desire to be in pain. I told my doctor that I could not do it. My doctor encouraged me to do it for a total of seven years, repeatedly telling me that it was imperative for the quality of my health. I finally gave in and made arrangements. It was a completely different experience than I had thought—the doctor did not charge me, I felt so much better after the procedure that I only took one day off, and I had no discomfort.
I had put that thing off for seven years, thinking of all the reasons I could not do it, rather than all the reasons that I needed to do it. I had no idea that the situation was compromising my energy and my comfort. It had. I had lived with unnecessary discomfort and dis-ease for seven years. Lesson learned.
So for me, the New Year is about doing whatever is necessary to move forward, rather than making resolutions that most likely will not be sustainable in my life later this year. The thing is I don’t want to waste my life for any amount of time–it’s a race that I want to finish in the best possible way. Acts 20:24 keeps the truth of it in front of me:
“But that’s OK. That’s no tragedy for me because I don’t cling to my life for my own sake. The only value I place on my life is that I may finish my race, that I may fulfill the ministry that Jesus our King has given me, that I may gladly tell the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24, Voice).
And. It’s one reason THE RED DOOR COMMUNITY CHURCH is beginning the year with the series, “START.”
Look at these little sweeties–they are my joys–giving reason to START each day with the focus of living the best life, doing only what matters!
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)