As one year ends and another begins, it can provoke me to reflection and goal setting. Looking backward gives me reason to celebrate as well as mutter. I celebrate the good things the Lord showed me and the things He and I accomplished together, but I also mutter over things I failed to finish (or start), time lost or wasted, and opportunities I didn’t recognize or risk taking. What is important is not to get bogged down looking over my shoulder, but instead to look forward to the new blank pages of the year ahead.
The truth is that some of those pages are already filled with special dates secured for specific grandchildren’s basketball tournaments, musical performances, and graduations. I already anticipate those with joy and excitement.
My challenge is to not be too quick to fill too many of the blank pages of the New Year. It can be easier than I wish to do just that, but I know from past experience that if I do that I will often find myself speeding through days and months at a rate that robs me of the gift of discovery.
I confess I am not a fan of those resolutions so many people list at the beginning of a new year. Don’t misunderstand. I do believe goal setting is important, but it seems that for me a list of resolutions adds to my “to do” list and that can add pressure and stress to what may be an arbitrary standard I have set for myself.
Of course I want and need to exercise more, lose some weight, read more, rest more, etc., etc., but I think I want something more than that as my priority.
I want to allow time for discovery and I want to savor the discoveries I make!
I love learning new things, discovering something about the Lord, something about nature, something about relationship, or something in myself that I had not seen or seen in quite the way I might now discover.
I want to see the one special stone in the midst of a roadside of pebbles. I want to notice
the sunrise and sunset for the varying hue of colors that appear on different days and in different seasons. I want to observe the nuances of the person I am having coffee with. I want to notice the differences in the songs of birds. I want to tune in more closely to the Lord’s voice to discover what is on His heart rather than focusing on what is on mine.
The wonder of childhood is that discovery is an everyday part of life that happens multiple times during the day.
The result? Joy. Delight. Dreams. (Just to name a few.)
Adulthood can erode those very things! Life gets busy. Responsibilities multiply. It’s all a part of our transition from one part of life to another, but I think if we cease to discover, a very special part of us that God created starts to shrivel up a bit more and we become a bit less than He created us to be.
The meanings of the word discover are rich indeed. Here are just a few of them:
- Find something or someone unexpectedly
- Become aware of a fact or situation
- Be the first to find or observe a place, substance or phenomenon
- Perceive the attractions of an activity or subject for the first time
- Be the first to recognize the potential of someone or something
A byproduct of discovery? Not only does it serve as fuel for our dreams, but it also shifts the focus from “I” as the center of our day. It helps us to see “the possible” that instills hope and nudges us away from the obstacles of “can’t”.
What might change if you looked at 2017 as an experience of discovery?
You will never know unless discovery becomes a value worth allowing time for because you don’t know what it is yet! It has to be discovered!!
God is writing His story through you! Mark Batterson in Chase the Lion states this:
“I don’t know what dream God has given you, but it’s a dream within a dream called Creation. It’s also a story within a story called Redemption. God is writing His-story through you, and it always starts with a dream. You may not see yourself as a dreamer, but you are one. You have dreams that you aren’t even aware of, dreams you haven’t thought of as dreams.”
Discovery is a byproduct of God’s Spirit dwelling in you filling you with wonder, opening you to dreams and possibilities that were not even on your radar screen until you discover them.
I think when we make discoveries, God must smile that we see something He has seen all along!