Mount Up with Wings: Flying by More Than Just the Seat of the Pants
How are you doing with your resolutions so far? As with every new year, I am often pressed to make new year's resolutions but it has been years since I had given up making a go at it. Instead I have brought before God in prayers my goals and dreams, and the intentions in my heart to live rightly, hoping fervently that He guides me every step of the way to fulfill them.
However, the past years had come with lots of surprises, pretty unexpected ones at that, and I was often left trying to swim through or wing it out by the seat of my pants (Ouch! Sounds painful). So, to counteract all this uncertain happenings, I am going to have a goal to make a goal. (So far, this week has given me a bit of momentum. I have a list! Yay! :D)
And here's what I have in mind...
1. Take a single step. Oh, so many things to do, but... oh, so little time. Is that really true? I'm not a morning person. So I often find myself having the most difficult time right after I wake up. I just have a hard time getting up. Then after I had my tea or breakfast, I have a hard time getting on with the order of things--- whether it's cooking or cleaning, or teaching any of my kids. All I want to do is laze away the morning. And I have often done that, until I see the clock ticking my hours (or might I say, life) away. Then I start running around like a guinea pig on its wheels.
So here's what I plan to do. Just do a single thing I can do for that moment, whether it's giving my husband a call at his work or sit down to read a small book to my baby, or get on with the dishes, or sew that hole in my son's pants that I have been putting off, or get my mind off my 'time robbers' and think 'big' and write. Just. One. Single. Thing.
But here's a great plan for a first step right after waking up--- Pray. It has proven to wake me up faster than anything. With my best plans on a platter, handed all over to God first thing in the morning, it arouses my mind on the things that I had to do and refreshes me with strength that only comes from God. From there, I usually am able to get on with things that I had to do for the day.
Be warned though about sleep-praying. It can happen, especially if your mind is not on the things that you hope will happen for you for the day. So know the single thing that you want to happen and go from there.
Plans are supposed to help us get through to doing our dreams, but if it's too intricate that it bogs you down, then it's not much help. Most of us don't know the next thing to do after the first or second step. And it's just how it should be, because if it's too detailed, it gets too overwhelming that we are likely to abandon these plans. So, as I've already said, know the single thing you want to happen for the day, pray, and get on with it. Take a single step. And if that step gets you to God, then... awesome. I'm sure you'll have an amazing year.
And even if life gives you some hard blows and knocks the wind out of you, you will know what to do. Take a single step, even if that single step is simply to brush your hair and put on some lipstick (just for women, ok?), or call a friend, or go for a walk, or sob a prayer. Just. Take that step.
2. No to If... Then. So easy to write, so hard to do. We love to dream and leave behind things that actually are the ones that move us forward, upward, or happy. Say, we want a clean, organized home. But instead of going for it, picking up one dirty sock or shirt and putting it away in the hamper, we waste away the time wishing that if we have a bigger house, then we could have a tidy house. Right. Or like when I want an easier, more productive time in Russia but can't do so because of language barrier, I go-- If only I can speak better Russian, then.... What if I spend at least 15 minutes a day on learning it than just wishing it? Just 15 minutes a day to doing something I want to do. According to studies, in ten years I will be a master at it!
We are given numerous opportunities that go unutilized. They often just slide away into oblivion. Opportunities that could have become memories and triumphs.
So today, grab the opportunity. Volunteer if you think you are just whiling your life away. Go down on the floor with the kids. Don't wait for them to grow up while you wait on your dreams. Live that book you want to write. Sing that song you want to write and sing. Bake that cake. And for goodness' sake, sew that hole! (Sorry, just talking to myself about my son's pants.)
One thing that my kids have taught me is to live for the moment. They see my guitar, they start strumming it and, before a minute passes by, a full concert is on. My husband and I have been blessed recipients of live concerts, musicals, piano recitals, magic shows, dance shows, stories and plays almost every night. After a long day, we are invited to sit down through a whole repertoire of fun stuff. And they are happy. They are not waiting to get famous or rich or very intelligent. What they have now, they live it. And fully. My husband and I are blessed.
3. Know what is Important. Most times are wasted just because we don't know what is important. Some of us think that having an admirable status on Facebook is important. You know, with the perfect picture of the family and the latest acquisition on full display... But how are our relationships? Or the condition of my/your heart? Do our kids know they are important? Where does God fit in in our goals and schedules?
When we know what is important to us, it is easier to focus or revolve our activities on it, and get to having a wonderful year. And even if life throws a curveball at our best plans, knowing what is important will help us gain a better perspective on what is happening in our lives, and help us to make better choices, better decisions.
4. Finally, live to leave behind things that live on long after being gone. Money doesn't live on. Besides being never enough, it also disappears too quickly. Memories do though and good names passed on. The sudden disappearance of my parents have taught me one important thing: our lives are only as good as the things that we do now that last after we are gone. I fondly remember my parents for the many things they have done that I am thankful and makes me very happy now. They have passed on pieces of themselves that I can pass on myself to my children.
I'm always running out of time. But I know when to let the ironing basket overflow and when to get on it that my family will feel my constant loving care for them. Bedtime stories, teaching values, humor, doing chores, fun and silly times, volunteer work, God, family, work.... they are important and it's okay if I run out of time just simply doing them.
"When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son" (Galatians 4:4). This, lives on. And when all else is done and gone, the eternal truth in Jesus will continue to live on as He offers eternal life to all who believes in Him. Yes, nothing lasts. It's up to us to create things that lasts, and 'giving' God to our family and to whoever that comes within our sphere is emulating what He has done by giving us His Son. He gave us a forever, and now it's our turn to do so to others.
5. Reflect. A journey is a missed opportunity if we don't find the time to reflect on it while we are on it. Just recently, I went through a painful process of not being able to reflect, much less, think. And I realized that many of our fears are misplaced. Most of us fear death. But there is a far more worse thing than being dead, and that is being alive but dead inside. When we can no longer stop to wonder and be in awe, or cry (or for me, think...) then, we are as good as dead.
Being aware and reflecting on the things happening around us and in us is to fully grasp life and the wonder that it brings. It includes paying attention to the beauty around us, the people, the needs, and above all, the God whose love endures forever, in spite of and despite of anything we have done, are doing and could do. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4).
God has promised that they who trust in Him, even if life's winds blow them down, "will renew their strength, they will MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES, they will run and not be weary, walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). This is more than just flying by the seat of our pants! This is being revived to live ALIVE!
So that's it! I am on my way to an awesome year. Are you with me? Let me close this post with a few verses to set you off to a great, wonderful weekend, or (next) week, or month, or year.
I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice,
and to do good in their lives.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The living, the living man,
he shall praise you; as I do this day;
The father (and mother too...) shall make known Your truth to the children.
And whatever happens...
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life.
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