- Chances are you are more zealous to dream and make big steps of faith in January than in any other month. This is simply because God’s grace has had you alive in a new year. It is an exciting thing. This zeal shouldn’t just be expended on a paper and abandoned until the next January. I’m reminded of a meme I saw last year that said: “My goal for 2015 is to accomplish my goals from 2014 which I should have completed in 2013, because I planned them in 2012.” That is what procrastinators call a long term goal. What I’m talking about is strategy. Action. Direction. Results. Hard work and a contentment through the fruit of your labour. If channeled well and with the right attitude, I believe your year will be different from the others.
- Reason number two. It is biblical to plan. The scriptures say in Proverbs 16:1, 3 (NKJV) “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord . Commit your works to the Lord , And your thoughts will be established.” Even the Creator looks into the plans of man.
- Reason number three. A good friend of mine shared this with me last year. He said: The greatest act of faith is preparation.” The village may pray for rain but we know the boy who carried an umbrella is the one with the most faith. God honours faith and blesses it when it aligns with his word.
So yes, this is a pro-resolutions blog. And since I got you this far, you might as well finish it. At the core of this blog is this truth- that resolutions do not make us CAPABLE; they make us ACCOUNTABLE. You are not a big shot for writing goals with “greater faith” or better and bigger ideas. You are a big shot for achieving them. Resolutions don’t make us capable; they make us accountable. So, I call this the PEP TALK. P for Priorities. E for Expectations and P for Patterns.
Where you default your best time, best money and best emotions is your priority. All else is not a priority despite how hard you tell yourself it is. Jesus taught in Matthew 6 that our hearts follow our treasures. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you hold no desire towards the person or object that you ought to prioritize. If you redirect your best money, best time and best emotions where you ought to, you will have the rare opportunity to glimpse revival in the once-thought dead situations of your life. I’m speaking to broken marriages, dysfunctional families, regretful mistakes and sundry. Prioritize and begin to make investments of your time, money and emotions. The growth is slow and seemingly impossible but the patient reap the harvest.
All unhappiness comes from unmet expectations. You surely ought to know by now that having the expectation of others to change so that your disposition can improve is harder than finding a rainbow-coloured unicorn named Sparkles. Manage your expectations. Only a cosmic God can fully fulfill you in ways even beyond your understanding of your needs. And the only person within your realm of change is you. So focus on learning the habits that are wise and unlearning the ones that are otherwise. Let all expectations fall on you. For wherever you lay your expectations there you lay the responsibility for your life. The caveat in all this is this: be humble enough to give yourself grace when you let yourself down. But be proud enough to strive and keep your word.
Pattern your life intentionally. Despite the random thrill of spontaneity, let your True North be a routine- a pattern. Why? Patterns can be read, corrected, tested and end up yielding good results if well harnessed over long periods of time. Erratic lifestyles cannot be examined. Therefore once you have established your priorities, have relieved them of undue expectations, plan a regular schedule around them. My wife and I have patterned our Fridays as date nights. When we breach this, it is easy to trace a problem. Did I prioritize a date with a friend, a work assignment or anything else before my marriage? A pattern if breached will give an absolute answer-yes or no. A patterned life makes confessions and apologies swift and sincere. If our date nights are erratic i.e. any night can be date night, we will not tell if we are prioritizing our marriage or not. Why? Because after every missed potential date night, the non-binding lack of a pattern will lie to us, “You will do it tomorrow.” Procrastinators unite…tomorrow. Apologies are filled with excuses in a non-patterned life. A pattern shells our priorities. Our expectations incubate those priorities. And once our priorities are kept in the farm of God’s will (found in His word), they will hatch a blessing of ages.
Happy new year, Beloved. That is our Pen Strokes PEP talk.