- Created: Monday, 07 January 2019 11:35
It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re sitting around the restaurant table, playing simple improv theatre games to pass the time while waiting for our meals to arrive. Then one of our kids starts thinking about 2019, and for once, perhaps the very first time, we start talking about what we what to keep and what we want to be different in 2019.
I’m astonished when one of the kids shares that their goal is to keep inviting their friends to youth group, hoping some will come regularly, others to step up into youth church as well.
It wasn’t her only goal, there were other ambitions as well, but it was a great reminder of what’s really important in life…
...'from the mouth of babes'…right?
My goals were far less grand.
Things like cracking on with a video series for preschool age kids. It’s been on the back burner for a while, breaking my heart…so in 2019 I want to get back on the horse and give it more than just a kick start.
Often people have personal well-being or health goals like:
‘I want to quit smoking’, others ‘alcohol’.
What about turning away from specific sin?
What about quitting gossip, slander, covetousness, non-contentment, jealousy, anger, hatred?
How often do we target our character, our godliness?
If only to be a sporting hero, we’d wash that sin away and rebrand overnight.
Australia’s summer has been rocked by the poor performance of our national cricket team against a top Indian line up. One of the main reasons for our lack luster batting has been the loss of our two best batsmen, Smith and Warner. They were banned from playing for 1 and 2 years respectively for ‘cheating’; scuffing the cricket ball up with some sandpaper to try and win advantage against South Africa.
But now, nearly one year later, out they come with TV ads telling us they want to ‘take responsibility’ and ‘come back better than before’…all the while earning lucrative sponsorship money through the advert!
I never knew repentance could be so profitable.
For most of us, it’s just hard slog.
We may not be forgiven by those we’ve hurt.
Our progress may not be noted.
We don’t have a PR machine to spin us into the people we want others to believe we have become.
I don’t normally set New Year’s Resolutions, how about you?
Goals are different.
Without aiming for something, we’re bound to hit our target, right? i.e. nothing.
I don’t want to hit nothing…do you?
Last year I didn’t put much thought into it. I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t set myself any specific targets. Maybe I just didn’t feel enough control over my circumstances to set concrete goals. I remember making that decision not to make a decision all through 2018 and regretted it.
We still did good things.
For example, Anton did a new devotion series in James, then we even revisited it with your help and tweaked it up a few notches, now we’re going to expand on it and take it up few more notches. It’s exciting, teaching kids the Bible verse by verse. Wow!
But in retrospect, I’d rather set some specific goals for 2019 and reach for them, risking the disappointment of missing those targets, than not.
Without specific targets, I found myself getting business done, but without the focus, pressure or edge needed to drive me.
So, this year, I decided ‘enough of that’.
Would you like to join me?
Here are some ideas or goal areas for you to mull over before 2019 gets too far underway: