Week of Firsts!

One of my favorite cartoon strips of all times. Thanks to Gary Larson!
One of my favorite cartoon strips of all times. Thanks to Gary Larson!

Well. It’s happened. The first full week of 2015 has passed. I wonder if we are on track with what we said we would be doing this year? Have we gotten a handle on the things we said we were resolute in starting? How’s that diet going? How many pounds have you lost? Reading your bible daily? How’s that going? Working on your exercise plan? Feeling better?

I remember a line from the book by John Steinbeck back in 1937, “Of Mice and Men.”

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley” (often paraphrased in English as “The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry”).

The best laid “plans” … Is not this what our resolute list of the new year represents? A plan. Maybe with a stated goal and some form of check-list in order to know whether we are achieving results.

While it is true that our plans often go awry as life passes us by, there is something within me that says I am not content to simply let life win by simply throwing blockades into the cog of my plan. Goals, objectives, “to-do”, milestones, check lists, plans… Everything seems to be subject to what happens in real life.

But I am not satisfied with simply letting life happen.

My concept this morning is quotable! “It’s not important what knocks you to your knees, it’s only important that you get up again, and the speed in which you respond to the hard knocks.”

One person might insist that life causes us to readjust our plans to fit the new reality, yet there is something in my craw that says I must readjust life to fit my plans. If we continually allow life to shift our plans, and deadlines are always being changed, then we are never going to be strong enough to follow through.

Here’s the rub, if my plan is in order with the plan of God, then there is a reason for the “life” that happens.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24 KJV)

The one thing I note: this is the year my wife and I hit the big 6-0, and 41 years of marriage, and 37 years of parenting, 4 years of grand-parenting. Throw into this mix, 23 years of pastoring, and 29 years of licensed ministry, and about 40 years of ministry under my belt.

I have re-purposed my life this year to be more focused on Godly pursuits. Church is not something I want to miss, even while I hear you chuckling, saying, “You’re the pastor!” Family is very important and the way I survive to old age is to surround myself with family. Health is important in order to live long enough to settle the accounts with God, and to enjoy family long into this century.

Yesterday, I attended a webinar with Michael Hyatt on “Getting What You Want This Year” – “5 Secrets for Finally Accomplishing Your Biggest Goals”. There are things I feel like are my Godly responsibility to accomplish, and there are things I want to do for my own personal goals.

Well, it may be that I complete my goals, but as a leader I feel the impetus to help others be successful with their pursuit!

To my church, Sunday is NOT the the only time we serve God – rather, we serve God with our lives every single day. I like the way a friend of mine stated it yesterday in a tweet:

“It’s important to not just do church with Jesus Christ but to do life with Jesus Christ.” ~Pastor Brian Kinsey

If we only do church, then for many that’s only a Sunday appearance. But if we do life with Christ, then that is every moment of our life – whether we are doing well, or not.

So, how can I help you with your plans for this year? That’s my question for my church and my family. And even, perhaps, for anyone who reads this blog.