January 4, 2016
Not existing before; made, introduced or discovered recently, or, now, for the first time; just beginning and regarded as better than what went before.
For the next few weeks, we’ll all be shaking the holiday dust off our tongues. Standard greeting, at least until the Pro Bowl: “Happy New Year!”
Everybody wants new; it’s top of the list, always. We reach to the back of the milk case at the grocery store to get the container with the latest expiration. We want a new car – instead of a lease-return that lost its drive-off depreciation with the first oil change – so we’re not “buying someone else’s problems.” We don’t want the prototype iPhone 7… but we’d love to be the first among our friend pool to have the latest-and-greatest tech toy from Cupertino.
Funny, isn’t it? That’s our mindset regarding products and consumables… but we tolerate much less than that when it comes to our own life.
Lots of people are feeling some tension right now: they’ve been in their New Year for almost a week, and they’re “late” with their homework. Our culture assigns the task, every January: come up with your New Year’s Resolutions. Most default to a variety of less-than-best options; it becomes a personal wish-list of slight improvements on an old version of their current life that wasn’t ever best-in-class.
God didn’t create the New Covenant relationship for us to have with Him – through Jesus Christ – to simply make us better: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
His plans were not for a remodel of what we built before we partnered with Him: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness,” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Before you get too far in that “lose the 10 pounds I picked up between Thanksgiving and the Bowl Games” swirl, take another look at what’s possible: are you satisfied with just an improved version of yesterday… or, would you like to become the new person – completely different than what you have been settling-for – that God made you to be?
At the risk of sounding philosophical, allow me to pose a question: are you waiting to become a new person to do new things… or, do you become a new person through doing new things?
Walter Mitty is Hollywood’s fantasy answer of the different-by-doing approach; you are supposed to be the living-and-breathing example of the way God wants it to really work!
Forget resolutions. Shred the “be a better listener” list you’ve been working on since you put away the Christmas tree. Start a new roster for a new year, to introduce the New You. No more resolutions: instead, create initiatives.
You’re assigned to create and live a life active on four fronts: your Personal core (body/mind/ soul/spirit), your Family relationships (marriage/parenting), your Professional realm (career/resources), and the Kingdom (impact on other believers/impact on the world). The 2016 game-changing question: as the leader assigned to live your life for maximum eternal impact, what new initiative in each category would demonstrate the incredible potential of the New You?
Initiatives are out-of-the-box endeavors. Goals advance the ball down the field of life; initiatives are game-changing pursuits that become strategic inflection points in life. What single thing could you do in 2016 in your Personal, Family, Professional and Kingdom arenas that would make 2016 the most amazing year you’ve ever had?
Come up with your short list – four items, each 10-words-or-less – and send them to me…