Consider Your Ways for the New Year and Beyond
It’s good to take a break from time to time to consider your ways as you also consider your possible future. You see, the New Year is filled with a lot of advice from leaders, bloggers, journalists and all sorts of people. They’ll give you a lot of words about resolutions, goals, living intentionally and more. However, this is not one of those pieces.
Frankly, it’s not a post about how to have the greatest year possible in x easy steps. It’s about you and how you go forward.
So, whether you have a destination in mind or you tend to wing things, now is a great opportunity to take a quick pause to consider your ways.
On New Year’s Day, I had the honor and privilege of offering the message to my home church of St. Andrew EPC. I titled that message “Considering Your Ways” because it draws heavily from the book of the minor prophet, Haggai.
Consider Your Ways – Stop Making Excuses
As you may know, I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions. Rather, I firmly believe that, if you want to make a change, make that change no matter when that becomes your desire. Waiting until a set date or point in time is really just an excuse. It’s a way of tricking yourself into thinking you have “permission” to wait.
We all do it. We all make excuses. And those excuses keep us from moving forward. They keep us anchored in the very behaviors that we seek to change. If we’re not careful, it grows into desperation, depression and a tendency to blame everything and everyone else for the behaviors were you are not experiencing change.
Consider Your Ways – Resume Your Work
Back the day, Israel was a powerful and wealthy nation. King Solomon had built a magnificent temple for honoring God. However, when he died, the nation broke into two kingdoms; Israel and Judah. Israel backslid in many ways, so God sent the Assyrians to conquer and scatter them. Judah, exalted a bunch of Godless kings, so God sent in the Babylonians to take Judah captive. In the midst of all this uproar, the temple was demolished. About 70 years later, Cyrus the Great took Babylon and (as prophesied by Isaiah in 2 Chronicles 36:22–23) allowed a small remnant of Jews to return to their homeland for the purpose of rebuilding the temple.
The lay a foundation and then all work on the project stops. Sixteen years goes by with little or no further work on the temple. And this is where Haggai comes in. He speaks to the people to wake them up, stir their souls and encourage them to resume their work on the temple.
He encouraged them to consider their ways and resume their the work they were specifically called to do. We too can take Haggai’s words to heart and be just as stirred. You see, we are unfinished projects much in the same way the temple was unfinished.
Consider Your Ways – It’s Never Too Late
Like the remnant, we are prone to excuses. Like the remnant, we put God and his call off. One of those excuses we give is the belief that “it’s too late for me to change” or that “I have been this way for so long, there’s no use.”
These this are more than excuses. If you really consider your ways, you’ll see that they are mostly (or fully) lies we tell ourselves.
It’s never too late. We’re works in progress until the day God calls us home.
Consider the subjects of the Greater Desires series.
One of the first series of posts done at 1Glories was called A Series of Greater Desires. It profiles a handful of individuals who have successfully pivoted their lives from one season of life to a very different and more fulfilling season.
No matter where you are in your season of life, whether we’ve desired more or have simply settled for less, the same thing is missing. It’s a confident understanding. That we were made for more. And that we were created to serve the greater desires of God’s ultimate glory.
It resulted in a free eBook that I made available to 1Glories Swarm readers. The book contains all the blog posts and more content that shows us the significance of pivotal moments. It challenges us to rise up to the higher call in our lives.
Maybe today is a good day to consider your ways. Maybe God is calling you to cast your line in the direction of the future. To offer you a little inspiration, I am making the Greater Desires ebook available again. Go ahead and grab it. Just plug-in your email address below and click submit.
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About Chad Gramling
Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.