In the finest year-end tradition, it is time to wrap up things up and set plans and goals for the new year. I am not going to spend time in going over what I failed to do in 2018. For one thing, that would take too long. For another, I have endeavored to not beat myself up over shortcomings, keeping in mind Paul’s teaching that we all fall short of the glory of God. Anyway, both God and I know where I came up short, so no need to rehash all that.
While I came up egregiously short last year and likely will again, it is nonetheless a good practice to set out goals. Having a goal, even when you know you will fall short produces better results than not having goals at all. It seems to me that setting goals is a Godly thing to do as being purposeful is one of the things that marks us as human. The question is as always: what should my goals be? Where should I focus my efforts?
I think I will start my top ten list by trying to serve God more fully in all that I do. We are clearly called to offer everything that we are and all that we do to God. That is only fair, as all we are and have comes from Him. So, I will attempt to keep service to God in mind in the entirety of my life.
Next, I think I will try to eliminate any profane language from my vocabulary. Not that I ever intentionally call on God to damn anyone, but the use of the G-D’s is itself an affront to God. Casually using these types of terms is unseemly and a capitulation to the values of this world. This should not be taken to mean that I will not swear. Sometimes the only clear way to communicate an idea is with a well-placed F-Bomb, which is in itself not blasphemous. Therefore, I make no such pledge to cease this useful activity.
Also, in 2019 I will try to be more disciplined in my spiritual life. Consistent prayer discipline produces good results and a better relationship with God and ultimately others. It will be my goal to make everyday a mini Sabbath by way of study of God’s word and teachings.
2019 should also be a year in which I treat my parents better. As they are elderly it is quite clear that the time remaining to do so is growing exceedingly short. It only seems the right and just thing to do. I will also try to extend this notion of honoring one’s elders to honoring all those who have an authority over me, bosses and pastors come to mind but I am sure there are others.
I hope 2019 will be the year when I can become less angry about life, especially the small, inconsequential things. Not that righteous anger is not at times appropriate, witness Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple. I am talking about the deep anger that can flow through one’s being and pollute mind, body and spirit. It can be like committing murder in one’s heart and is never something that God desires for us. Better to focus on how I can uplift others and support them in their lives.
I also want 2019 to be a year in which I honor my wife, the greatest gift God ever gave me. Patience, understanding, help and support are the watchwords here. There is a myriad of ways that I can do better and a myriad of ways that I have failed to do this. I hope never to take the constant presence of the amazing in my life ever for granted.
I hope that 2019 sees a continual commitment to provide fair work for fair pay. It can be easy to offer mediocre effort, and have it accepted as valuable but even if I am the only one on Earth who sees this mediocrity, I should always keep in mind that God sees all. So, in all the work that I do I wish to help provide as much service to help others as I can and to help them achieve their goals.
I am aiming at doing less trash talking in 2019. Not that I do much on this site, but I do plenty in the rest of my life. Gossip, innuendo and not assuming the best from people are no way to treat God’s children. It becomes a Golden Rule issue as I don’t wish to be treated like this so I should endeavor to treat others with more regard. Safeguarding the reputation of others can be as important as safeguarding their minds, bodies and spirits.
Finally, I wish 2019 will be a year where I never worry about what others have and instead focus on the great many blessing I have received. The possessions of others, both the things they have and the relationships the have are not for me to desire. I, simply stated, have enough. In fact, I have more than enough, certainly more that I have any right to expect. So, I will attempt mightily to gratefully accept what God has given me and not concern myself with He has given others.
If this list of goals looks a lot like the Ten Commandments, well, duh. See I told you goals were a Godly thing to have. There is still no better list in the universe than these 10 items. If we as faithful believers want to live out that faith as best we can, then a great place to start is the to do list God gave Moses on the mountain. If we wish to see this list lived out to perfection, then we need look no further than our exemplar and champion Jesus the Christ. God has told us what to do and given us the example of how to do it. This seems the best plan for this and every other year. Here is wishing you the best of all His Kingdom has to offer in 2019.
Praise Be to God