The end of a year! My mind is racing with how to end this year, begin the new one and somehow figure out what is really going on in my mind right now!
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matt. 6:34 (Message)
As I am sitting in my office listening to quiet instrumental music at 5:30 this morning I find my mind seems to be blank. But honestly, I don’t think the mind of John Smid is really ever blank. I am seeking, asking, searching for answers to lifelong questions. Whenever it seems my mind is empty, that’s a default for me.
It is two days before New Year’s Eve. It is a time where we are supposed to reflect, hope, dream, and certainly be with special people to “ring in the new year!” Some would say it is also a time to evaluate where we’ve been and if we had accomplished the goals that we set last year at this time.
As good business people, ministry leaders, and mature adults, we are led to believe we must set new goals. We are told that making priorities as we look at the year coming is vital to passing through this tunnel of the change of the calendar. Oh, yes! 2012 is upon us in only hours! What are my goals and priorities?
When I was the director for Love In Action people all around me would often ask, “John, what are the five year goals for Love In Action? What are you expecting to happen in the next ten years?” It seemed that setting long term goals was the responsible thing to do and certainly with fund raising in mind, it seemed significant to the non-profit world. Financial projections, project budgets, and fund raising goals were paramount and yet, always caused me unending frustration in my attempts to put my heart’s desires onto paper and into spread sheets for others to understand.
As I go through what appears right now to be a challenging time in my life personally, goals and financial projections just don’t seem to resonate with me this year. I am having a hard enough time figuring out today, much less next year, or five years from now.
I am in the midst of life questions and wondering what the real answers are to them. Where does truth lie? What is God’s truth in relationship to human frailty? Where will I be in one year? Five years? Honestly, I have no earthly idea. When I attempted to put my life into goals all through the years, it seemed that my goals never seemed to really play out because of the nature of human life. Set the goal, walk through the year, and find in the end it turned out dramatically different than you would have ever thought. I remember setting wonderful goals and putting my desires out for the world to see to find out in the end, God had something different in mind.
So, right now, sitting in my office at 5:30 in the morning, I am taking this life one day at a time. Today I have a Skype phone call with a close friend at 8:00. My wife and I are cleaning a house at 10:00. I have lunch with a long time special friend whom I haven’t seen in a year. This afternoon, another catch up phone call with a new friend in Pennsylvania. Then over dinner I will meet with several other men to share life, and try to care for each other. When evening comes and I will close out the day with my wife, play with the dogs, and get ready to go to bed. Yes, another day will have passed. What’s on for tomorrow? Well, I’m not on that page of my calendar yet.
It is now 7:30 and I have put two more things on Craigslist for sale. I have thrown out a whole wastebasket of unwanted paperwork and some junk from the top of my desk. And, I am looking for other stuff that needs to go OUT of my life! Time to clean out the year. I’ve collected far too much stuff and it is cluttering up my life. I have a yearning to lighten the load so I am closing my eyes and tossing it!
There, that is my New Years preparation. Take it one day at a time, tomorrow has enough cares of its own. Maintain good relationships with family, nurture friendships and spend time where it is eternally significant. And, lighten the load. Throw it out if you don’t need it any longer.
Well, my mind isn’t empty after all. Actually I think I just cleared away some junk there too!