As social media bombards us with best-of lists for 2014 and as we eat that next round (but not the last round, right?) of holiday baked goods and chocolate-covered whatever that we found stuffed in our stocking on Christmas morning, it's a great time to take a few minutes to get ready for 2015.
Last night while we were eating dinner at Chuy's here in Birmingham, Lindsey and I talked about some of our goals for 2015. Everything from our personal finances to changes in how we eat and exercise. And I know that goal-setting might be a scary thing for you and that the next few days might be really busy but I think you can take a big step forward in getting ready for 2015 by taking 30 minutes to write down the answers to the following four questions:
What is one thing you can do in 2015 to increase your enjoyment in God?
This might be something you start, stop or try again. Maybe it’s a Bible reading plan, taking a next step as part of Christ Community through connecting relationally or serving intentionally, or turning off your phone before bed so you can have time to review your day and pray. Don’t try to do everything that comes to mind. Pick one thing and commit to doing that throughout the month of January as you make joy the great quest of your life for 2015.
How will you take time in 2015 to stop and rest so you can listen to God?
You and I live in a busy world. We all struggle to find rest; not just time in our schedules for naps (although I recommend a daily 20 minute nap) but a deeper rest that God provides even in the middle of our hectic and chaotic life. Take 30 minutes a day to meet with God, show up at our gathering on Sundays believing that God will show up, or learn to adopt the biblical practice of Sabbath.
Who or where will I take risks in 2015 to help people follow Jesus?
For a lot of us, the risks we need to take are in our workplace as we influence the people around us to do the right work in the right way for the right reasons. It’s one thing for us to be good employees; it might be another thing altogether to lead our co-workers towards the common good. Some of us have friends and family who need us to ask them about their life and their need with Jesus. And a lot of us have a choice whether we’ll continue to live in isolation or take this year to connect deeply with 1-2 other people so we can help each other follow Jesus.
What is one thing you will give up in 2015 in order to be more generous with your time and money?
Most of us waste 25% of our time on activities that are self-indulgent and non-productive (binge watching Netflix, scrolling through our Facebook feed or Instagram timeline). What could you say, do, or create with that time because you have something to give to others. That’s generosity. And so is your investment financially towards others in greater financial need than you. I challenge you to take 1% of your income that you currently spend on yourself and redirect it towards the needs of others. You can do that through our church or through our ministry partners like Acts 29 and Downtown Academy.
Joy. Rest. Courage. Generosity. This is the life you and I were made to live and it’s the life you and I can have in 2015.
Take one of the questions above and tell us your plan for 2015 in the comments section below.