“Do you remember how, on a racing-track, every competitor runs, but only one wins the prize? Well, you ought to run with your minds fixed on winning the prize!” 1 Corinthians 9:24 (Phillips NT)
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)
There is sacredness in every ending and every beginning. Even though we tend to prefer one, the start or the finish, over the other; both of them are significant. A new year, like anything else that is untainted and untried, is characterized by excitement, possibility and at least a little fear. Nevertheless, what is new will be old again, unless we change our approach, our attitude and our aim. In other words, unless we operate in Godly wisdom all that we have gained in previous years, will be forgotten or of little value.
So, where are you? What will be your approach, your attitude and aim in 2016? Have you devised a wise plan? There will be no shortage of those seeking to entice us about what we should do with the fresh set of days, weeks and months that lie ahead. But we must remember that all we ever have is one moment at a time. What we do with each moment helps to determine what will happen in the next. Each moment must be properly handled to be meaningful.
Beginning a new year is a little like getting ready to run a race. There are at least three steps upon which we need to focus if we hope to have success and ultimately achieve victory. Please consider these steps as you embrace 2016 and may God bless, keep, strengthen and grant you wisdom all along your journey.
Get on Your Mark: Be in Position. This year, take the time to consider whether you are in the right position to achieve your goals, dreams and destiny. Too many times we stumble, not because God doesn’t want to bless us and not even because we do not work hard, but simply because we are not in position to maximize our opportunities in life. Someone said that it is a tragedy to climb to the top of the ladder only to discover that it was leaning against the wrong building. The only thing worse than being in the wrong place is to be unaware that you are out of position. Don’t let this happen to you. Be on the right mark this year. Don’t allow distractions, disappointments or delays to cause you to be or get out of position. For you see, when God sends the blessings that are intended for our lives they will be addressed to our places of divine assignment and appointment. It is up to us to be in the right position to receive what God sends. No matter how talented, anointed or gifted you may be, you cannot receive God’s best, if you are out of position. Align yourself with God and allow God to show you the people, places and projects that should garner your wise attention.
Get Set: Don’t Neglect Preparation. Some of us are in the right position, properly aligned with God and surrounded by the appropriate people. Nevertheless, we feel like we are not where we should be simply because we misunderstand the importance of preparation. In this new year, endeavor to be ready whenever God calls your name because you are in a constant state of preparation. Some seasons in life are seasons of preparation. There are always things that we must do, learn, clear-out and strengthen, before God can actually use us in our places of assignment. Preparation takes work. Preparation allows us to cultivate our voices, learn excellence and properly wield our spiritual and secular tools. Preparation is perpetual but it always happens in shifts. What that means is that we will always have an opportunity to utilize whatever we have learned and gained during our seasons of preparation. Our task is to stay so close to God that we recognize when our opportunity is upon us.
Go: Stay Focused on Progression. It goes without saying that no matter how much you prepare, all of it will be for naught if you never put it to good use. The truth for some of our lives is that in this new year, the only thing left for us to do is go. Go on with Jesus. Go after your dreams. Go through with your decisions. Go forward in faith. Go on with your life. You have prayed and cried, journaled and researched; you’ve planned, saved and prepared. Now it is time to go. At some point, we must be able to look at our lives and journeys and determine that we are making progress. It is true that sometimes, progression is slow, undefined and even hidden. Nevertheless, God in God’s wisdom and by God’s grace does not allow us simply to keep spinning our wheels. Maintained movement leads to momentum. Momentum carries us closer and closer to our desired achievements. At times, starting to move is the easiest thing to do in life and at other times it’s our biggest hurdle. This year, focus on progression. Don’t get stuck in the same old mindsets, don’t languish with the same old people and please don’t get paralyzed by lethargy. It is time to start making some real progress. Remember that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) Let’s Go!
“…And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.” Job 8:7 (ESV)