A few years ago I began setting New Year’s Resolutions. And I felt great- for about a week. Then life would get chaotic and everything would fall apart. By the end of January I felt awful. Ashamed I couldn’t make it through an entire month focused on the list of resolutions and beating myself up about it.
After a couple of years of this same scenario I finally quit setting resolutions. Yet something stirred inside me knowing that nothing would be accomplished in my life if I didn’t attempt something.
Frustrated I couldn’t accomplish everything, but aware I couldn’t swing to the side of doing nothing at all, I came to God and asked Him to help me learn how to focus my year.
(I should have been coming to Him the entire time seeking what He wanted for me. But we’ll talk about my hard head another day!)
So last year, for the first time, God gave me one single word for the year. Just one word to focus all my decisions around. One word to anchor my heart. One word to know that what I faced before me was from Him.
I hated it- at first. I wanted the big picture. I wanted to see how He was going to do everything throughout the year. I wanted all the answers. And God gave me just one word.
But as He taught me the beauty of the word, I began to see so much of God in everything in my life. For the first time I had the freedom to say no to really amazing opportunities because they didn’t align with what I knew God was calling me to.
I learned the difference between good and best.
I learned the power of saying no, so I could say yes with freedom to other things.
I learned the lack of service in my life.
I learned the power of serving one person instead of seeking to serve many.
I learned the power of gospel multiplication- when we do for one we are really doing for many.
I learned the heartbeat of God in how to serve.
I learned the beauty of service isn’t being a blessing to someone, but being blessed by someone when you serve them.
I learned leadership happens not when I achieve more than others or climb above people, but when I bend low before Jesus and love the people in front of me.
I learned to see God in every area I had not been seeing Him in, because for the first time I was looking at my life in a focused perspective.
And now, as I stand in a new year, with a new word, I see the beauty of what He taught me last year. I see the power of honing in on something small so it can teach you something big.
You see, all those years where I set lofty goals and dreamed big things, I really didn’t accomplish very much. But the year I spent focusing on mastering one thing…well I accomplished exponentially more than I imagined because it was all done His way and in His will.
That’s the thing about goals and dreams we have to be careful with. Are they our goals and our dreams? Or are they the goals and dreams God places in our hearts and minds to accomplish His mission and for His glory?
What about you? Do you have a word for the year? Do you have a vision for 2018 God has placed on your heart? I’d love to hear about it!