Each new year brings the excitement of new things hoped for and the remembrance of things not yet accomplished.  I have great expectations, but I know as I come to the end of each year I recognize that I didn’t complete them all.  Sometimes it has nothing to do with me.  Life just happens and therefore unexpected changes create situations making it impossible to fulfill some of my planned expectations.

2017 was that kind of year for me.  At the beginning of each year I do a personal video blog to remind myself of the past year successes and failures and to set some expectations for the new year.  Most of the time I have a sense of things I believe the Lord wants to do and also my own dreams of what I’d like to do.  It’s a special moment at the end of each year when I watch my video to see how things turned out based on my expectations and it helps me when I plan for the new year.  What is interesting is how often I am right on my prophetic sense of what God wants to do, but how wrong I am in how He does it.

Being Right and Wrong at the Same Time

In 2017, we were in the midst of what was a huge life transition, so I had talked about the year being a year of rest.  A time I felt that God wanted to teach me how to enter His rest.  I was in a new city with a new job and there were great opportunities and goals in my horizon.  I had no idea the company I worked for would make a corporate decision to downsize in a huge way that led me to spend most of the year out of work.  What did I do?  I found new ways to stay sharp, make a difference and rest.  With the changes, I had totally forgotten the word I had for my year, but I completely stepped into a new realm of trusting God and recognizing His provision for me.  It was a time to rest.  I took several trips and lived life in amazement and joy and free from the stresses that my job typically brings.  It was without doubt one of the greatest years of my life as God renewed and restored me.  When I watched my video, I was amazed how God did it even though it was much different than I expected.

Some of Life’s Best Moments Happen in Change

What have I learned?  I was reminded this past year that we make our plans, but God orders our steps.  When He orders them don’t try to take control back just enjoy His work and go along for the ride, you’ll be amazed at what He does and how it will change you.  The next thing is to recognize what I am really responsible for.  Failed expectations can lead to disappointment and depression and it’s rooted in control.  I cannot control the outcomes of life, I can set my goals or expectations, but when life happens change happens.  Learn how to accept and even enjoy change.  Some of the best things in life occur in the midst of unexpected change. 

Another thing I learned is to stop looking for the traditional maybe it’s time to reinvent yourself with new technology.  I started several new ministries this year just by using the tools right in front of me.  A new website and blog.  Finished writing a book, made myself available daily to meet with people just to encourage and inspire them to live out their destiny and I even taught elementary, Jr. high and high school as a substitute.  I was as busy as ever, but in a different way and I was making a difference in other’s lives.  Sometimes we view ourselves one way when there are other things we can do and new ways to do them.  Just look right in front of you and start doing whatever is in your heart.  Remember, David used the sling that was already in his hand, but he used it in a new way as a weapon of war and no one would have ever thought to use a sling that way.

Focus on One Thing and Do it!

As we enter 2018 look at what is in your hand.  What is your sling?  How can you re-develop yourself?  Don’t waste your time with worthless goals and resolutions find one thing that you can do this year and devote the year doing it.  Don’t cloud your vision with all of the things you hope to do instead focus on the one thing you need to do, or want to do and then do it!  Remember, life happens so when you have a day where things don’t go right, don’t give up.  Just go to bed earlier, set your alarm clock to get up the next day and start again.  Failure is not a person, but an event.  Choose to keep moving forward.  If you never quit then you can never fail.

One last thing, enjoy life!  Enjoy the people around you, eliminate complaining and live life with a thankful heart.  God’s path will be different than you expect, just laugh and follow his lead.  Happy New Year!