Here we are at the beginning of another calendar year. Happy New Year! Before the year 2020 came along, I would not have expected much change to come with a new year, but all that has changed. I am not sure if it is a sign, but the calendars that TVA sends to every household within ten miles of a nuclear facility had at least two errors. Hopefully, we will be able to make it without January 29 and May 29 (just kidding).
So, let me ask: How much do we depend upon others to order our lives? Who decides what you do with your time, your resources, and your gifts? Most, if not all, of us would like to believe that we control these things. They are, after all, our resources, but I expect that the truth is a little closer to “no one.”
Yes, I believe that we allow last-minute guesses (Guilty!) and unthought-out actions (Guilty, again!) to determine how and where we use our time and talent. This does not always present a problem as not everything has to be done intentionally, but what about the rest of the time? I have a wealth of resources to help me—calendars on paper and electronic, to-do lists, sticky notes—but they are only effective when I remember to use them. (I don’t know whether they offer any help for those of us who need a reminder to enter an appointment or schedule an activity.)
I expect that what needs to happen is to set aside a bit of time to look at the coming year. What do we absolutely need to have happen this year? What would be nice if we could get around to it? What do we consider to be essential for personal and relational development? What improvements do we need to make in our lives? Then, with these items before us, consider ranking them in importance and setting up times when we will best be able to accomplish them. Write it down. Post it somewhere that you will see it every day. Looks good, doesn’t it? Now, what about the rest of your time?
All of us have something that we are really good at doing. If it is not how you earn a living, what about a favorite hobby? God has given all of us gifts to use; some are even useful for earning a living. But that is not the only way we can use them. Whatever gift or talent we have can be used to help others. Educating others, manual tasks that build or repair, creative activities (arts, cooking/baking, music, sewing), growing food and ornamentals, team and individual sports, and the list goes on, are ways that we can use our time to bless and benefit ourselves and others.
Let me also suggest that the church is an excellent place for you to use and hone your talents. The church (body of believers) can always use people who like to lead, teach, and help. There is always need when it comes to building and maintaining communities. How about checking with your committee and council leaders to learn where your help can be best used? 2021 does not need to be a repeat of any prior year. Let’s see what we can do to make it one we will remember for all the best reasons.
Pastor Braxton ><>