Resolutions are like anchors for a ship. The anchors are used to prevent a ship from crashing into dangerous reefs and obstacles. They are instruments providing safety and security. Making resolutions for the New Year can become anchoring statements--words of absolute resolve--palpitations of your inner desires--spoken, made public and concise.When I look back on my life--almost every good thing that has happened to me, has resulted of formulating these anchor resolutions. Once I resolved to buy a "little cabin the the woods." When we did buy the cabin tucked in the North Carolina mountains--that cabin became the respite my soul was literally dying for--it also became the prototype for Potter's Inn--as we know it today. I made other resolutions in years past about my weight; my fractured relationships and my marriage. Some have become so life transforming that I now shutter to think of what my life would have become--had I not found anchor resolutions to give me hope, resolve and a clear way to move through choppy seas and seasons of my life. They became for me, more than something I was tethered to. Rather, my resolutions became guiding strands which gave me light in the midst of stormy times and a way to walk through whatever chaos I was finding myself in at that moment.People drift. People crash and people sink. I've done all three of this---or should I say, I've run onto dry ground; my boat has taken on massive water and I have been in despair. To prevent the unthinkable for us, work on some simple statements which will give you a course to follow; safety from drifting off course and protection from sinking.Here are 6 resolutions you might want to consider working with---making them your own as your move into the New Year.
- Do something about forgiveness. For most of us there are remnants of messy, broken and severed relationships. The lack of forgiveness can take root in us causing us inner stress, mental anguish and relational isolation. Who is the one person you want to move towards to forgive? How can you do extend forgiveness.
- Do something about your pace of life and stress level. Most of us feel victims to our clocks and calendars. We resign to surviving as if we can do nothing about the running on empty feeling we experience. By choosing to move more slowly---how can you resolve to do this: give intervals between meetings; allow yourself grace time on each side of your commute rather than giving the bare minimum. The real question I've found that most of us rarely ask ourselves is this: What can I do today that will be life giving.
- Give yourself self-compassion. For those of us in caring professions, we care for others without giving care to ourselves. For business leaders, navigating the whitewater of money, success and the fear of going under---what would self-compassion look like? For the pastor and missionary; counselor and teacher---what can you do each week to give yourself mercy, grace and love? Remember this, those who give must be given to....
- Pay attention to your Spiritual Life. The spiritual life is not a program to be managed. It is an organic, wide-open journey where we become awake, aware and active in our walk with God . What can you do to attempt to wake up and walk more aware this year?
- Embracing the care of your body. Our bodies are the address of our soul. The care of our soul is directly linked to the care of our body. Rather than set big, unattainable, unrealistic and unachievable goals, mark a path where you can realize a movement in your body care like this: Rather than make a "D" in my body care, I want to achieve a "B". Only a few of us will ever get an "A" here. I'm certainly not one of those. But making a "B" is to live with this: I feel good about how I am treating my body. Good is better than poor.
- Unplug from technology. I've found in working with leaders in the marketplace and ministry that being wired has become the #1 threat to their resilience. They are slaved; tethered to little machines. Make a resolution to unplug on day a week. Here's a link to help with this offered through our ministry, Potter's Inn: Get the UNPLUG Challenge here!
Let me take this final opportunity to thank those of you who have stood with Gwen and me this past year in the support of Potter's Inn. Potter's Inn for many, has become an anchor ministry for many around the world. Your gifts and support make this anchor to happen for people. It's been a year of expansion and our margins have run thin. But by your help, we will finish this year strong and in the black--ready to offer an anchor to many who are tossed about on the stormy seas of life. May God bless us! May God hold us! May God have mercy upon us all!Happy New Year---and may this be so! Steve