We’re here folks! 2017 has finally rolled around, and the new year is laid before us like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Okay, yeah, so I’m artist… but I think it is a pretty good representation of the new year. Huh?
So what do you think your canvas will look like by the end of 2017? A smeared blob, an average level portrait, or a beautiful masterpiece?
Actually, it’s a more important question to ask yourself than you might first think because the attitude with which we face this crazy thing called life makes a HUGE difference! Writing a list of goals is great, but how well has it worked for you? If you are a person like me, you make list and then proceed with a halfhearted attempt and fail only halfway through January. Why? Because you probably don’t have your heart in it.
Life is something we only go through once. When it’s over, we get no second chance. We can’t go back and change something, no matter how much we long to do so. So instead of allowing this to be another mediocre year, let’s all join force to make this year truly beautiful.
You don’t have to do huge things from the start. Remember that sometimes, a little goes a long way; in fact, sometimes farther than we could ever imagine ourselves. If the heart is in it, that is where great things start.
It’s not about you.
If you are living for your own benefit, your canvas will become more smeared and messy than ever before. Having an outward, heavenward focused mind and lifestyle, while sometimes crazy, is the most satisfying way you could ever live. Seriously. It is something I have been learning over the past while that has made such a huge difference on my life. Not only does this mean others before yourself, but an attitude of thankfulness, helpfulness, and really, when it comes down to the very core of it all, self-sacrifice. Ouch! A painful nerve I know! But this is what love towards others in its purest form looks like. It’s what Jesus demonstrated to us, when He came as a helpless babe, grew up, was tempted and outcast, and then literally bore all the grief, sorrows, and sins of the world on the cross so that we might be FREE. The biggest burden ever. And that is what a truly others-focused life looks like!
Ask God for help.
In the art world, you will never create a masterpiece without learning from a good teacher what the best tools and techniques are. Same way with life. We can’t make our canvas beautiful if we aren’t learning from the Greatest Teacher Himself. Learn from Him. Study the design of other pictures He has helped create (other godly people’s lives), and learn all you can from His Word. Talk to Him and listen to Him speak to you. I can’t stress these things enough, for they are the foundation on which a truly worthwhile life, is built.
So will you join the force?
I encourage you to focus your heart on the things that really matter the most. In the life of a Christian this means learning to live out and be the person that Christ wants you to be. Will you join me and hundreds of others in this crazy adventure? Strive for the best, and with God at your side, you won’t fall short of His plan!