I recently made a bold commitment to fast and pray for the purpose of bringing 2014 to a close and getting some insights for launching 2015. Well...I'm still kind of a weenie in regards to the fasting thing. My new goal is just to stay out of the ice cream carton for a week...just a freakin' week! Yes, I'm still in recovery. Step 1 - Admitted that we were powerless...
But, I did spend an amazing weekend away with my former sponsor, and current dear friend and mentor, Bud Lamb. You might know him if you ever attended Santa Cruz Bible Church back in the days right before and after Chip Ingram left there to launch 'Living On The Edge'. Anyway, during that weekend getaway, I was listening for God's whisper and what I clearly perceive to be my watchword for 2015 is SIMPLIFY! It's time to STOP THE CHAOS! Or at least get a leash on the dang thing. :-)
I recently read Bill Hybels' book 'Simplify' and two things struck me as very profound and yet very obvious.
The first is that if I want to have a positive impact for Jesus in my spheres of influence, I need to discern those vocations to which God is calling me, and prioritize my activities accordingly. This, by it's very nature, will cause me to 'simplify' my life by eliminating the expenditure of my time and energy on stuff that isn't part of my job description. I'm not called to be or do everything. I'm just called to do a few things ...really well. Sounds simple, but I get excited about SOoo many things, that I am reluctant to let go of a lot of stuff. I think the answer, for me, is to relegate those things that clearly aren't among the 2 or 3 very highest priorities to recreational pursuits. Those things then become things that I can still be in touch with, but they just add spice to my schedule. They're not the main ingredients. For me...still a work in progress. Right now, my top 3 are my relationship with Christ, my marriage, and discipling men. (Actually, I think stewarding my health should be up near the top, but it might actually be part of #1...I'd love to hear your thoughts on that!)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
The second thing that I find just brilliant (but which I've thus far not managed to make very much progress on) is making my calendar work for me. If something is a priority, shouldn't it have a spot on my calendar? Some wise person said "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail!". Another wise person said, "If your calendar has no blank spots, you're planning to have a massive coronary!" (I think that was me ;-) But I think you get the point. If I don't at least have a 'To Do' list on my desk or somewhere (Outlook Calendar, Evernote...I'm sort of a geek), then I'm probably being driven by the 'urgent' instead of the 'essential'. I hate to admit that I resemble that remark much more than I would like to. But...'progress - not perfection' as they say in the 12 Step rooms (or is that just CR?).
Uhhh...too much white space on my calendar...gotta go!
Peace & grace,