Below are 10 questions that were given to me to review at the beginning of a new year or on your birthday - both being ideal times to pause and reflect on where you've been, where you are, and where you hope to be. A nice way to regain our bearings.
I appreciate how thinking through these things has helped me carry more intentionality into my relationship with God and with the people he has placed in my life - may they do the same for you!
1. What is one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What is the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What is the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What is the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? in eternity?
This is Ceili (Kay-lee). She's the sweet 6-month old puppy I've been watching for a couple days. Cute, right?
Sometimes I only sort of want a dog, but after 24-hours with Ceili, I really want a dog. Along with the 'want' for a dog is the want of a lifestyle that would enable me to have a dog - ie. not being gone for 10-13 hours a day and traveling multiple nights every month. Beyond these 'wants,' of course, is the ever-increasing 'want' of wanting less - of being content with what the Lord has given and living with a deep sense of gratefulness.
I talk through these things all the time with the students I work with - how comparing ourselves with others or envying God's gifts to others robs us of the joy God has for us. Truths that are easy to tout, but require a little more time to internalize and own. Nonetheless, the Lord keeps brining me back to the truth that his good gifts to others don't make his good gifts to me any less good. I lose a sense of gratefulness when I fixate on the things I want that the Lord has lovingly withheld - like a bratty child that is given loads of presents but not that one that she wanted, and erupts into tears. I'm thankful that the Lord pushes me to step back and have an eye for all that he has given - I am not left in 'want.' He satisfies our desires with good things (Ps. 103:5)...He satisfies me with good things.