Last year our Pastor introduced the church vision for the year: Mission Possible. It’s not hard to figure it out. With God, what we find impossible becomes possible. In Him, barriers come down and amazing things happen.
As a motivational exercise to kick off the new year, each family wrote down a list of things for 2018 – things we desperately wanted, but found overwhelming, difficult, or even impossible. The week between Christmas and New Year’s, we brought our list to a church service and had a ceremony of starts, where families prayed together and then stamped our list with a large red circular stamp.
Goal-oriented as I am, I loved it. We attached the list to our refrigerator with a magnet and began the year super excited about what could be accomplished through prayer, faith and action.
From the pulpit Pastor asked us to bring our lists along to the New Year’s Eve and be ready to give testimony of the things that have come to pass. I started reviewing what I could remember our list in my head and felt uneasy. When we got home I grabbed the list and confirmed what I had initially expected: Nothing on our list had been accomplished. Not. One. Thing. Together Adam and I had carefully and prayerfully crafted a list of 10 items and none had come to fruition.
How could this be? The Mission Possible list represented our greatest desires, our heart-of-heart values, our most important relationships. It embodied our faith and our vision. Yet all ten goals remained uncompleted.
I found myself inventorying 2018. Together Adam and I worked a minimum of 4160 hours in our jobs, and I put another 1000+ into Starfish Living. We attended about 100 church services and activities. We logged over 500 hours serving in church ministries. We either hosted or attended more than 40 family events. We played house parents to our daughter’s friends throughout summer vacation almost daily (consequence and blessing of living on a lake.) And we lived daily life. Housework, bills, yardwork, prayer, Bible reading, cooking, caring for the dogs, going to the doctor and dentist appointments – it all took place.
It was a busy, busy year. I was in constant motion.
And yet, the most important undertakings according to our own list… those things we did not accomplish.
The sick realization came that my life, my time, my days are filled past capacity on minutiae and activities that do not have a lasting impact and do not add value to my life nor the lives of the people I love most.
And my professional dream of building and running my own company? In some ways 2018 ended with Starfish Living weaker than it had started.
These are the reflections that have led me to abandon my usual lists of resolutions (even though they are written, numbered, organized and ready to go.)
No, sweet friends. Resolutions aren’t enough. It’s not time to set markers and check off lists. It’s not time to track habits and tweak schedules.
It’s not time for lofty. It’s not time for ambitious.
It’s not time to clean or polish or paint or decorate this temple.
It’s time for a complete gut and rehab.
To be continued….