A New Year
Instead of going back to posts about my experience with Guillain Barre after my sidebar about Christmas carols, I thought I would say something about starting 2016.
Many people say the new year is a chance to start over. I have a different take on this. To start brand new would mean the elimination of the past, at least the bad stuff. Maybe you have a power that I don’t know about, but everything, the things I’m proud of, the things I regret and everything in between are still with me. No matter how hard I try, they have an effect on who I am and will be. That’s not bad.
I should be proud that I’ve raised two daughters, coached their soccer and softball teams, volunteered at their schools and for various community and church organizations, received a Congressional Certificate of Recognition, earned three degrees and served as a Lutheran Pastor for 10 years since having Guillain Barre. These are some of the things which keep me pushing forward in ministry as an independent pastor.
I hope the things I regret have taught me some hard won lessons. While I did a lot of good as a pastor, I had some failures along the way and made some colossal mistakes that brought my ministry as a Lutheran pastor to an end. In the movie Elizabethtown Claire tells Drew who lost the sneaker company he worked for almost a billion dollars and is feeling very defeated that he needs to accept his failure, but keep on moving forward. She tells him that he needs to continue designing and keep others wondering why he’s still trying in spite of his failure. That’s the sign of greatness. And so I keep moving forward trying to be a better parent, friend and pastor.
Instead of looking at this one day as the day to start over. Every day wake up and ask yourself, "How will I be the best (insert your name here) I can be today?" It helps to remember that there are people who love you no matter what including God.
Another thing many people do at this time is make New Year’s resolutions. When I was married I used to write down five to ten resolutions. When I’d look at that paper and read those items, I felt like my ex-wife was nagging me to change the things she didn’t like about me.
I have another suggestion. Pick one thing you would really like to do or change. It shouldn’t be something someone else, even a spouse or significant other, wants you to do or change. It needs to be something you can put your heart into. It also has to be realistic. As a boy I wanted to be an astronaut. I tried to learn everything I could to prepare me for it. But I don’t expect that to happen, at least not this year.
For me, it’s continuing to write this blog no matter how many people read it or join New Life Network. For now I’m using my sister to keep me honest. She’s not going to nag or pressure me to create posts, but she will ask me what I’m writing about earlier in the week to help me keep myself on track. When you make that one resolution, find someone who will keep you on track with gentle nudges and support, not nagging. Once you’ve accomplished (really accomplished) the goal then consider another one. Yes, forget the list of resolutions and take on one thing at a time.
I hope everyday of this next year will be wonder-filled.
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