Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A New Year

    I'm not going to lie, 2015 was the hardest year of my life. I have had more struggles and more burdens this year than ever before. But as another friend brought up to me, 2015 has also brought some of the most amazing circumstances into my life, circumstances that brought me through the hard times. 2015 was a year that was marked with incredible times of struggle and incredible times of joy.

    This is the time of year that everyone starts running around, working on all their New Year's resolutions. The gyms are packed and junk food sales probably go down these first couple weeks of January. Lights are going out earlier around the neighborhoods as people enact their new bedtimes.

    I have never really gotten into the whole New Year's resolution thing. I see the logic and the reasoning, but I have never jumped on board. Well, this year, I thought I would put my New Year's resolutions into a post on here. I have a very long list (hold up, my secretary is correcting me there. It's not that long...) of resolutions and changes to enact in my life this year.

    1.) I want to love more and more like Christ. If the first and second commandments, the hinge that all the law hangs on, revolve around love, it seems rather obvious that that's one area I need to focus on. First of all, I hope and pray that my love for Christ will deepen this year. I want to desire Him more, to yearn after a deeper and deeper relationship with Him, a relationship that will carry me through the times of silence and struggles I know will come this year.

    2.) I want to have fun this year. Yeah, I know that sounds incredibly shallow. Frankly, I don't mind how it sounds. This year, I want to enjoy, wildly, the world that God has given and the gifts and passions He has given me. I want to enjoy to the fullest the hobbies, the interests, and the desires that God has placed in me, and there's nothing shallow about that! I want to enjoy the world that God created for our enjoyment and His glorification!

    This last year, I spent far too long procrastinating and dragging out my work, which left me schooling half-heartedly all the time, with hardly any down time (might explain a lot of the moodiness that happened this year in case you were wondering, mom and dad). This year, I'm focusing on doing what I need to so that I can truly go out and fish, hike, camp, read, sing, play my piano, write, kayak, shoot, and whatever else I can think of that God has given me interest in. I'm going to find wild joy in the things God has provided for man's enjoyment this year!

    I encourage you all to do the same. You've probably all heard songs about buckling down and exercising discipline this next year. It's a great message, and one that needs to be taught and preached everywhere across America this year, particularly to my own generation. But I want to encourage us in that discipline to take the time to find joy in what God has given us to enjoy.

    It was never His intention to create bleary-eyed, somber robots who wandered about doing whatever He had said. He created us to find joy in Him, and in doing so, to serve Him and to live lives of joy! One of the ways we find joy in Him is through the passions and hobbies He has created us with, each of us special in our own way with our own. Go out and enjoy them this year!

    So, guys and girls, this year, don't sit at home all night and stare at a computer screen. Don't make yourself sit down every night from 6-10 and study that deep theology book. Don't make yourself school until 9:00 at night every night. Get your stuff done, read that theology book, don't get me wrong. But go outside, enjoy God's world! Read that fiction book you've been wanting to read! Pick up that new hobby you've wanted to try! Try your hand at writing a book! Use the passions and drives God has given us to enjoy the good gifts He has given us.

    It's a new year, people. Enjoy it. That's why I wrote this post after coming in from doing some archery outside and before going to a taekwondo workout tonight. I'm just using a little discipline to live up to those stringent new year's resolutions. It's going to be hard, but I think I can actually stick to them this year!


  1. Amen!!!

    I agree with you completely! God's Word is not a set of rules - it is a way of life - and a joyous one too! Ecclesiastes 3:13 backs this up - "moreover, that every man that eats and drinks sees good in all his labor - it is the gift of God."

    1. Glad you agree! I remember a quote from Rich Mullins that he said he believes God looks down at us enjoying an ice cream cone and find joy and glory in the fact that we are enjoying the taste of vanilla that he created for us to enjoy with the taste buds he designed to give us satisfaction. :) Cool thought, I always thought!