New year. New beginnings. New hopes.
I confess, I have on occasion started off enthusiastically, faltered in the middle and then ended up far less further along than I intended. When we are staring down the barrel of a new year, ahead of us lie endless possibilities. This could be the year we finally get in shape, prioritize our relationships, or get more involved in church.
Alternatively, it could just be a continuation of the same choices you’ve previously made.
Ok. It definitely will be.
Unless you make new choices and make them consistently.
Endings and beginnings have a way of bringing into clarity our shortcomings or successes from the past year. We often realize, “I want to do better next year.” And so we set out with our resolutions and hope to succeed where we have in the past failed.
My challenge always happens when I’m in the midst of the grind. Add some distance from my starting point and everything I’m doing starts to feel a little less important. I fail to consistently remind myself WHY I started doing this in the first place. I allow lower priorities to become more important because… at that moment my desire for instant satisfaction outweighs my desire for discipline.
In the grind, the longterm reward of discipline loses its appeal.
So why will 2019 be different?
I truly believe that God has called us to live “on purpose”. There is a difference between letting life happen and choosing to live life with intentionality. We get to choose who we will become and we are in control of how we spend our time.
I have in the past discovered the power of self-discipline and pursuing Jesus daily. I set in my life a consistent morning routine that involved of specific time set apart for prayer, scripture, and journaling. Included was also time for reading spiritual growth books and leadership books. I discovered the rewards of working out and eating healthier (sort of healthier anyway). I learned the value of genuine friendships. All of these ingredients working together led to one of the most fulfilled seasons of my life.
However, in the last year, everything about my life has changed. I started a new job, moved to a new state where I knew next to no one. For the first time, I no longer have roommates. All of my closest friends live a great distance away.
Everything changed, except my morning routine. And I hated it.
Over the last several months, my routine became more and more frustrating and ineffective.
I understand that routines are not ONE SIZE FITS ALL. What works for one person likely won’t be an exact match for everyone, but it never occurred to me that what had worked so well for two years would stop being effective.
For me, 2019 means rediscovering the best way to spend my time in the mornings and evenings to best refresh and satisfy my soul. What is the key to renewing my passion to spend time with Jesus? I will be trying some new things and experimenting with the timing of it all.
In the past, when I consistently wrote in this blog, I would take about half an hour every morning and write. I didn’t do that in 2018, however, in 2019 I will be adding some writing time into my evening routine. I don’t know how often I will post, or even exactly what the content will be. I only know that my heart is to pursue Jesus and encourage you to do the same.
No doubt I will continue to discuss scripture and things that the Lord reveals during my personal study, but I also have a feeling things will be a bit more personal this time around.
I hope you will join me during this second iteration of daily pursuits. If you’re in, please subscribe to have these delivered directly to your e-mail. If you’re already subscribed, thank you for your support!
I look forward to growing together and pray that 2019 will be an unprecedented year of personal growth, encounters with God and divine opportunities to demonstrate God’s love to His people.
Happy New Year.
Let me know in the comments one small way you’re going to make 2019 better than last year.