Thursday, January 1, 2009

Many Opportunities in a New Year

My college student friends I've gotten to know through campus ministry started posting their resolutions about a week ago. The Facebook approach of swapping ideas with notes is to share info with a number of friends (even realizing more friends can look in and comment on your note) & then asking for their thoughts, ideas, encouragement. "Am I honest and real with this?" and "What do you think?" are the common questions to end the notes.

They are a challenging, trouble making bunch! I say that because I've tended not to think much about the new year, much less assess my life, or consider how I need to set goals or take steps forward. And they add a whole new wrinkle to this as they don't merely keep their resolutions personal but make it a communal activity. Now that's brave and has potential for real action and change.

So, I thank them for sharing their lives and thoughts with me, and for getting me better prepared for 2009. After struggling with this for a few days I shared the following note in return with my college friends. Now comes the work!

The “experts” always warn about not creating too many unrealistic, “undoable,” resolutions, but to have a smaller focus and to create a plan. I think time management might be the overarching theme for me though these are the life issues I need to focus on in the new year. These thoughts will be good to keep on my calendar, in my computer, and maybe for some of you to reinforce with me.

1) Allow my life to be renewed and change more as I keep the balance between serving/doing & replenishing my body/soul/life—fuel the fire and act on what I know/sense to do each day.

2) Step up—now is the time for social and community change--transform my church, transform Augusta, transform my denomination, in general build a bridge to a better future through my life and profession.

3) Do more writing—make the time to pull the articles & book/s together. Perhaps this really is just on Facebook and blogging, but creating the bridge (#2) takes time for dialogue and communication. Continue to learn and grow in this by listening to those around me, especially college students and friends outside the church.

3) Spend more time making the biggest difference for people at just the right time. Make sure we launch the medical clinic, help the community development take stronger shape, work to establish mission camps in Augusta, etc.

4) Get more creative- nurture and grow my artistic interests. Flee the computer or TV and spend more time with a paint brush, pencil, pen, etc. and grow the spirit of visual creativity and expression.

5) Spend less time with work and more time at being a better husband and dad. Take the family fishing, go to the beach, escape to the mountains, take a vacation, and in addition to the planned options work on being more spontaneous.

6) Personally, I need to get into an exercise routine. In college and grad school I biked a lot. I think I’d like to do that and need to get into the routine. Somewhat related as a lifestyle issue, I also enjoy gardening and growing heirloom food. That’s the old vegetables and flowers before hybrids. I’ll definitely stay active in the yard with that and produces some different items plus spend time with my family while providing quality food.

Hmm, ambitious but achievable I think.

How about you? What's God calling you/ pulling you/ dragging you toward this year? I hope we all live up to those dreams and take our next steps of faith. The year and our world await our response.

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