A new year. A new beginning.
I’m sure you are getting a bit tired of hearing all the hype about starting “new.” I always have to chuckle because why does it take the turning of a new year to get us into gear? I think so often, it is easy to become complacent, in the groove, and stuck in the mundane, that we forget to look forward. And we forget to look back.
Our pastor had written an article for our church’s little publication that comes out each month and he had referenced an article by Pastor Kevin DeYoung, that speaks of 10 questions that we should consider as we move forward into a new year. I read them while waiting for church to start and I found myself thinking about them ever since. Not that they are my measurement for whether I am living a successful and productive life, but the questions give meaningful purpose in my day to day living.
- Am I spending time slowly reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture?
- Am I having consistent, focused, extended times of prayer including interceding for others?
- Am I disciplined in my use of technology, in particular not getting distracted by emails, news and social media?
- Am I going to bed on time?
- Am I eating too much?
- Have I exercised in the last week?
- Am I patient with my kids or am I angry with them when they disobey or behave in childish ways?
- When at home, am I “fully present” for my spouse and family or are my mind and energy elsewhere?
- Do I have my priorities right in how I spend my time?
- Have I done anything out of the ordinary to cherish and help my spouse?
Now if you ask me, I could choose any one of those and have them be my sole “change” I want to make for the year, except the maybe going to bed on time and exercise one. Outside of that, I think I could take a lesson in each of them. Do any of those hit you right between the eyes? As you read through each one, did you put up your guard right away? Did you have to think about it? Were you convicted?
In a technology-run society, I think that is a huge one for many of us. It is so easy to “quickly” glance at Facebook or check our email. Especially with the creation of the smartphone. But has it dumbed us down in other areas of life, taking our focus from the things we should be focusing more on?
This list hits on most of the things I think we all struggle with to some extent. It may not be right now, but in the past and looking ahead as well. Where do we spend our time? Where is our focus? What is our purpose? Who are we looking to FOR that purpose? Are we looking to things of this world or the things of God? Like His character?
I don’t know about you, but this sure challenged me. It’s definitely a list of 10 questions that I have put in my file folder. A list I want to lift up to God and ask HIM, what I can do differently. And if I’m honest with myself, He will have a few things to say to me.