There is potential for something powerful to happen in your life this year. It takes intention and determination to set the course but it will prove to be profitable as the year goes on. What I’m talking about is reflection and then taking time to choose the course you wish to take. Reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year gives a good place to start. There’s no point living in regret or condemnation from the mistakes or downfalls we experienced. When there’s a new year, we can seize the opportunity to start fresh and wipe the slate clean.
Eric Worre suggests that before we start into this new year, we need to be “sure to leave something behind from 2015.” Here are some of his suggestions: “You could leave behind your mistakes, your disappointments, your fears or your toxic relationships. You could leave behind the habits that aren’t serving you. Blame, procrastination, comparing yourself to others” and the list could go on. He also encourages us that “when you leave something behind you create a space for something new to enter your life. Something exciting, something positive that will take you in the direction of your purpose in this life.” I think this is great advice.
Take time to list the things that weren’t good… the pain, the problems and the losses. Now I encourage you to bury them or burn them if you can. At the very least, throw the list in the garbage and leave it there. Leave that baggage in 2015. Now, begin to pick yourself up, forgive yourself and others and choose to make a fresh start.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s that Jesus is always ready and willing to help us start over – no matter what the time of day or time of year. He wants us to come to him, broken and in the helpless state we are and ask for His intervention in our lives. The best place to begin is by saying, “Jesus, I’m turning my life over to you. I can’t do this on my own. From this day forward I’m yours.” He promises to make all things new. In fact, He says that… “(He) will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; (He) will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
As parents, we can all relate to rocks being found in pockets. Just the other day, I was hoping to get rid of a rock that keeps finding its way into Little Sweet Pea’s room… but permission was not granted when I asked if I could throw it out (imagine me with garbage bag in hand ready to declutter!). Rocks are certainly interesting pieces of our world and they are useful in many ways. However, if you or I were found to have a heart of stone, we’d be guilty of unforgiveness, bitterness, not having a teachable spirit …in other words, pride would have a big part in our life, uncompassionate, selfish and self-serving among many other issues. So often it’s easy to point fingers at others and find fault in them however, it’s good to be reminded and challenged to lay down our agendas (our stony hearts) and pick up on what is on God’s heart. As my pastor, Scott Carroll, reminds us often that if we were to follow the first two commandments “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself,” every part to living a successful, fulfilled, abundant life would be covered.
I believe 2016 can be your best year yet! No matter the circumstances that come your way, you can set your eyes on Jesus, the One who makes all things new, and choose to change the very course of your life. Take time to meditate on what you want to leave behind and what you’d like to see ahead. Bury the past, and then begin to take action steps to your ideas and see how God moves on your behalf!
“The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord. And God delights in every step they take to follow Him. If they stumble badly, they will still survive, for the Lord lifts them up with His hands.”
Scripture reference: Ezekiel 36:26, Psalm 37:23&24