The new year is here, and I'm excited to see what 2022 has for us. My hope is this coming year will be a season of abundance not just with material prosperity and success but of love, health and spiritual awareness. As we plant seeds of faith, may we have the patience and expectation to witness the harvest of God's blessings.
One of my personal resolutions is to be more generous and joyful even when things are not going well. I'm reminded of a quote by Mother Teresa, who said, "Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love."
January means "beginning," and as we plan our resolutions, this is the perfect occasion to consider developing physical, emotional and spiritual lifestyle changes. You notice I used the word "developing" because our goals are often a lengthy process. For example, eating a salad today is not going to automatically make us healthy, but it's a positive first step that will pay off if we can embrace that little secret weapon called perseverance.
Today let us believe that anything is possible. Just like everything else in life, being diligent and determined are important aspects of personal transformation.
There have been many adaptations from the original Al-Anon credo that encourages everyone to be realistic about trying to change everything all at once. It's important to realize that changing who we are is a lifestyle and not just a whim. No one else can do this for us. We must see our need to change and be willing to do whatever it takes to be victorious.
There is nothing wrong with having long-term goals, and we should release our faith into accomplishing our destiny, but it's also important to focus on our mission one day at a time. It would be better to take it slow with permanent results than to go through the motions and become overwhelmed with frustration and eventually give up.
Our world has changed. Facing our fears and uncertainties is now a normal way of living. I'm very sorry for what many of you have gone through these past two years, and I pray that God brings you comfort in times of sorrow.
I encourage us to be brave in this new year as we consider the old saying, "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what a ship is built for." May we live in the moment and begin each day with gratitude. Let's laugh more and take the time to consider those around us and how much they mean to us. We have the choice to see the glass half-full and to use our voice to bring hope and love at a time when the world needs it the most. John Bunyan is quoted as saying, "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
Let us not forget that while we are advancing in our own journey that we have a responsibility to demonstrate and teach wisdom and truth to the younger ones. Children may outgrow their shoes, but they will never outgrow the positive and encouraging messages we leave with them.
Most of the time we are so busy that we rarely consider how easy it is to ignore what is truly important. Realizing that optimism is a learned behavior allows us to know that personal awareness and transformation is hard work. It's not about how smart we are or how much we can achieve. Our motive should be to allow God to empower us and work through us to accomplish his plans.
Finally, let's make a sincere decision to exonerate those who have wronged us and allow forgiveness to cleanse our conscience. When we hold grudges, it's like an infection within our soul. When we choose to forgive, we will experience a refreshing that will flood our soul with joy and peace.
If we have wronged someone, may we have the courage to step forward in honesty and tell them we are sorry. As Ephesians 4:32 reminds us: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Edith Lovejoy Pierce is quoted as saying, "We will open the book. The pages are blank. We are going to write the words ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
I wish all you of you a very blessed new year.
Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.