What are your expectations for 2020?
We all have them. We may verbalize them as “resolutions,” but even if we never tell anyone anything, we all have something we long to see happen. The usual answers are losing weight or gaining a promotion. Maybe even a bucket list item like running a marathon or writing a book.
But let’s scratch a bit deeper for a moment. What are the goals you are hesitant to publicly announce at the New Year’s Eve party? The ones that need to be achieved, but are currently daunting?
Forgiving someone who hurt you deeply.
Asking forgiveness of someone you hurt deeply.
Making sacrificial changes to your lifestyle.
Approaching difficult subjects with those that need it.
Or maybe just admitting you need help managing your temper, loving your spouse or parenting your children.
These are the issues that rumble below the surface, gnawing at our consciences. They are expectations we should fulfill, but don’t want to, because they require serious work. So, we stare up at them like steep, treacherous mountains, simultaneously dreading them and longing to summit them.
I have a mountain and here’s what I am currently learning about it: I can’t climb it in a day.
I recently wrote about the instant society we live in and how that mentality has trickled into our spiritual lives. We like things to be immediate. Therefore, we do not like suffering, persevering, or any kind of unpleasant longevity. We want to have a Jesus button we push to make things miraculously better.
The problem is there’s no such button.
The only way to climb these difficult mountains is to tie our shoes and start walking. One step at a time.
Now, go ahead and name your mountain. What is at the top?
A restored relationship?
A debt- free life?
A healthy body?
An intimate marriage?
Set your sights on where you are headed, then take a step. You won’t reach the summit in a day, but you can make the choice to move.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, can I offer a suggestion? Sometimes the first step is the hardest. Try this:
Lord, this is really hard, and I am not sure I even want to do it. Will You help me?
It’s ok if your first step is small. Honest. Not even the slightest bit victorious. It’s also ok if you have to repeat that same step multiple times. Just keep taking them. Eventually you will move on to this:
Lord, this is still hard, but I am ready to do it. Show me what to do next.
Your goal may involve 34, 102, or even 541 steps. Thankfully, God won’t reveal how many your situation requires. If He did you would probably give up. So, don’t focus on how long it might take. Or how much work is involved. Just concentrate on each step, one at a time.
Now, let’s imagine 2020 together for a minute.
What if you and those in your circle of life collectively encouraged one another to work on the hard stuff in 2020? Like having those necessary conversations, forgiving one another and living graciously? What if on New Year’s Eve next year all of you announced success or at least huge progress in your relationships and quality of life?
Let this be the message that starts off your New Year and then spreads to others.
I don’t normally ask this, but will you share this blog on your page? Be the catalyst to motivate others. Let us be a people of purpose, willing to face unpleasant issues, wanting to make 2020 the year we start making significant changes in our lives. Ones that lead to courage, freedom and reconciliation.
My shoes are already laced up. Will you join me?
New Year. New Step.
Dig deep. Pick an issue. Take a step.
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