A recent newspaper headline caught my attention: “The Rolling Stones Confirm Four concerts in 2013.”
The headline was accompanied by a picture that made me wonder if there had been a break-out at the local nursing home. The Rolling Stones look as if they should be hobbling more than rolling these days.
(Though, I saw them on the television later, and they still boogie pretty good–for grandpas anyway).
Remembering what they were in their prime and seeing them now, we can’t help but wonder, “What does it all mean?” or something existential like that.
Things don’t stay the same down here do they? We try to reproduce what was but we can’t.
Mick Jagger looks more like Mervin Stagger now.
It’s so important that we learn what we’re to be at a given age and get busy being the best “that” we can possibly be at that age. I’m sorry, but two tons of make-up won’t make you what you were. And Mick may rock for two hours but I’ll bet he rolls over and groans the next day.
2013 is staring us in the face. If you’re 25, 45 or 75, I’ve got a question for you: “Are you going to make the most of 2013 for the Lord, or are you going to wobble through another year just hoping for the best?”
Here’s the command that comes from God to obedient servants: “For yourself, stand fast in all that you are doing, meeting whatever suffering this may involve. Go on steadily preaching the Gospel and carry out to the full the commission that God gave you.” (2 Tim. 4:5, J.B. Phillips)
If you want to ” carry out to the full the commission that God gave you” this year you need to do three things: figure out where you are; know where you want to go; set goals and brainstorm how you’re going to reach them.
Imagine that you’re kidnapped by world-class spies and you’re in a supersonic jet, flying off to you-don’t- know-where. You manage to swipe a world-class parachute from the supersonic spies and you bail out of the plane. You land, but you don’t know where you are. You’d like to go home, but which way is home from lost? Where are you? It’s important to know.
Can I suggest that you find two hours? Spend some time in prayer and then get a notebook and paper and thoughtfully answer these questions:
Where am I in my relationship with God? Why do you respond like that?
Where am I in my relationship with my wife/husband?
Where am I in my relationship with my children?
Where am I in my relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Do I have any close friends? How is my relationship with them?
How is it with my boss and the others I work with?
Am I doing what God has called me to do? Where am I in my ministry for Him?
If I were to die right now, would I consider my life a success? Why or why not?
Now, what steps am I going to take in 2013 to go forward in all these relationships?
What one thing am I going to begin regularly doing to improve my relationship with God? There may be a ton of things, but you need to choose at least one and incorporate it into your life. Do it over and over until it’s a part of the relationship.
What one thing am I going to do to improve my relationship with my wife/husband? Give up always trying to have the last word? Trust? Quit shouting?
How will I strengthen my relationship with my children and help them?
Can I be a better employee and have a better attitude towards my boss? What can I do to strengthen my relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
If I don’t have a good friend, I can ask God for one and actively be the friend that I want someone to be for me.
I was born for a reason. God created me for a reason. What is that? What am I going to do this year to try to accomplish that so that when I stand before Him, I can say, “Lord, I did the thing you made me to do in order to serve my generation for You.”
Where do I want to be at the end of the year in each of these relationships? Set a measurable goal. I like what Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”
But, we can set a direction this year that will cause us to reap the benefits for years to come.
Goal—to grow closer to Him? What will that look like? How?
Goal—to win back the heart of my wife. How?
Goal—be a positive factor in my kids life. How?
Goal—Touch 100 people for the Lord and influence them in some way for Him. How?
Goal—Put my finances in order. How? Giving. Saving. Debt retirement.
Goal—Move toward a healthy lifestyle. How? Walk. Run. Cut out milkshakes (scratch that one).
Prayerfully set aside two hours today or in the next few days and get your year organized. If you do and you stick to it, you’ll be surprised how many positive things come from 2013. You won’t reach all your goals but you’ll see enough of them fulfilled that the bitter taste in your mouth will be replaced with joy.