Are we ten pounds lighter yet? Have we managed to save a million dollars in the last two weeks? Have we been getting up every morning at 6:00 AM to pray and reflect on our lives? Have we stopped worrying entirely? Taken that vacation we told ourselves we deserved? While I hope some of these initiatives and positive thoughts for the new year are on our minds, I’m sure we haven’t even come close to any of our New Year’s goals and aspirations yet. I’m hoping that we maintain a positive perspective, making sure to tackle our goals and resolutions at an appropriate speed. Part of our plan this year should also be to avoid taking everything so seriously and being too hard on ourselves. There is time for all of our resolutions and improvements. There is also time to sit back and decide what can happen early on in 2016 to make us feel better, enjoy more time with our families, and get more satisfaction out of our weekly worship.
Simply put, just taking a moment to reflect and think about daily life is the first step in enriched experiences with family and friends, and with ourselves. When we move too fast and pack too much into our days, we run the risk of not enjoying and absorbing any of the beauty of the day. When we slow down and have dinner with our family or actually take the time to enjoy a morning run instead of ticking it off our lists for the day, we can learn to relish the moments that allow us reflection or togetherness with loved ones. In church, when we make the effort to truly sit, listen, and experience the message of God’s Word, we are more centered and more open to that message for the rest of our week! If we sit, tense and thinking of other things, the message is lost on us, and the fellowship with other members of the congregation becomes nonexistent.
So, my advice on this day in mid-January 2016 is this: Stop and take in the day. Understand each moment as God wants us to. Listen to your kids, talk to your spouse, enjoy your time alone exercising, praying, or whatever brings you peace. Take the fellowship that you experience in church into your workplace or in your community as you buy groceries or get your car serviced. Talk to people and interact on a deeper level, trying to understand what makes others happy and what gets you through your own day. This is your first step to seeing all the other components of a happy life fall into place for 2016.