“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”(Colossians 3:23, New Living Testament)
The new year is just a milestone. I don’t think it should be a time where anyone feels the need to try to reinvent themselves. I think we should all think of each new year as a mile marker in a marathon; it’s a time to confirm that you’re moving at the right pace. The life you’re currently living is not so bad that you need to scrap everything and start being a new person. Some of us just need to pick up the pace or redirect, some of us are in the middle of a challenging race trying desperately to stay with the pack, and (unfortunately) some of us haven’t even shown up to the track to start running yet.
So this year, I have approached this season of beginning like I approach the beginning of each week. I have considered the things that I need to get done. I’ve set a few goals; some small milestones and some stretch goals (ones that will require extensive effort to achieve). And at the end of each quarter, just like the end of each day, I’m going to recap what I’ve accomplished.
The thing that will be different about this year in comparison to many years in the past is that this year, I understand who I’m running the race for. This understanding feels like that one weirdly‑shaped piece of the 500 piece puzzle that you couldn’t find. (You know…the one that you find and then all of the rest of the puzzle begins to take shape.) I’m not running for myself. I’m not running for friends and family. I’m running for the LORD. Running life’s race for myself didn’t work for over a decade. Running for my family and friends also didn’t work for quite a few years either. The clarity of recent weeks has caused me to start this year with an outlook that has seeped into everything that I do. I no longer have an outlook that is merely focused on the outcome of my efforts. I have an outlook that is focused on the simple fact that everything that I do is to get a good report from the Lord when my earthly time has expired. Not only does this approach feel good in my spirit, it has already gotten me wonderful results!
You don’t necessarily need to figure it out before you get on the track because running without any purpose or direction is the same as not running at all.
If you’re running life’s race for yourself only and you’ve have great success, congratulations! You are (or are on your way to being) a self-inspiring person. If you don’t know why you’re running, I strongly suggest you figure that out quickly. You don’t necessarily need to figure it out before you get on the track because running without any purpose or direction is the same as not running at all. I suggest that you get in the race and as you run, you survey every person that you pass to see why they are running. Before you know it, you’ll have quite reasons to consider adopting for your own life’s race.
Ultimately, I am running for myself and the LORD. He is my personal savior and has continuously and consistently provided me with the inspiration, encouragement, and dedication I needed to overcome many things. So, as I go through the rest of this year, I’ll make a note of each milestone that pass. I’ll be looking to make sure I’m going in the right direction, at the right pace, and doing things to fulfill my greater purpose every step of the way.