Well, it’s that time of year again. A new year is soon to be upon us. Another decade is coming to a close. It is usually around this time that is normally reserved for reflection, remembering, taking a personal inventory of our lives and making resolutions for the future. As the dawn of a brand new year approaches, we’ll also start to hear that magical sound. The shuffling of little feet when everyone, once again, as if in harmonious unison, stampedes towards the “New Year, New Me” train. All aboard! (Don’t worry, that train is always on time. Every year. You don’t have to worry about missing out.)
Why, of all the 365 days in a year, do we pick the holidays to decide to get our shit together? (I know. I brought out the “s” word. Some of you are panicking. Just breathe, it’s gonna be okay I promise. But now that I have your attention…) Seriously though. What makes New Years so special than all of the other 364 days leading up to it? Why didn’t we get “it” together on those days? It’s kind of arrogant on our part to think we even have that much time in the first place. Who’s to say we even make it to New Years? I know that sounds kind of morbid but it’s true. We’re not guaranteed our next breath let alone a full year! (Side note: I’m preaching to the choir on this one. I have a lot of experience on the subjects of procrastination, fear, self-loathing, doubt and making excuses.)
Taking inventory of ones life should be a daily ritual. Not something that is saved when we’ve reached the end of our rope. I would even argue that taking daily inventory of our lives could possibly help us to avoid the whole “end of our rope” fiasco all together.
They say hindsight is 20/20. And looking in the rearview mirror is rarely a pretty sight. Not to mention, it’s not really beneficial if you’re wanting to move forward. I know looking back over my own life and the whole hindsight thing, it doesn’t exactly give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I have more regrets than I care to discuss. Decisions I’ve made. But I think more importantly, it’s the decisions and the moves I didn’t make that are more cringeworthy than anything. And as I find myself merely a few months away from my 38th birthday, I find that the mere thought of me gracing this planet for that long and still not “living my best life” as they say, has jolted me out of my self made coma. For starters, how in the actual how is it possible that I’m almost 40?! Who sped up the time-o-meter? Maybe it’s the mid-life crisis talking. Maybe it’s realizing time is running out. Maybe it’s God giving me a giant shove off the mid-life cliff so that I’m forced to finally do something about it. In either case, I have never been so aware of time in my entire life as I have been in the last few months.
I’ve realized that we can either look back and have 20/20 hindsight or we can look forward and choose to have 20/20 vision. And the fact that it’s actually going to be the year 2020? Come on, how perfect is that?! We can sit and wallow over all the mistakes and decisions we’ve made and can’t take back or we can make the decision that from this point on, it’s all or nothing. Whatever time we have left, we’re going to make the most of it. That as long as we’re breathing, there’s still time.
In the words of C.S.Lewis, “You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
There are many examples of both people in the Bible and people in modern day that had to wait decades before they were able to step into the calling that God had for their lives. And most of the time it’s usually because they had a story and a life to live that would toughen them up and make them able to carry the weight of their dreams when it finally came true. So they could inspire others to do the same. Every truly great person in history all have the same thing in common: having a calling and a purpose on your life comes with a cost and a cross to bear in one way or another.
Making peace with my past has been a long process. Trying to untangle a lot of guilt, shame and regret. A lot of “what if’s” which of course doesn’t do anyone any good since there’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Finally coming to the conclusion that it is what it is. It’s part of my story now and people (including myself. I am people) are going to have to accept it. With that new revelation, and making a full 180 degree turn from dwelling in the past, 20/20 hindsight, to 20/20 vision; the future. I have made decisions recently that require moving forward in faith. But I also know that my future is much more important that my comfort.
Making that turn requires making new decisions. It requires making room. It requires getting uncomfortable. It requires sacrifice. It requires inconvenience.
Are you ready?