Out With the Old, In With the New A Pastor's Perspective on 2016 New Year's Resolutions
Have you ever lost everything on your phone? How did this make you feel? Was it a blessing in disguise or did it provide for a lot of stress?
I cracked my screen awhile back and because I had so much data on my phone I was having trouble backing it up. I needed to do a backup before I could take it in and get the apple care phone replacement. (And yes, I do admit…I enjoy taking pictures of my family and it takes up a LOT of storage space…) There wasn’t enough space on our computer; there wasn’t enough space on our iCloud plan; and there wasn’t enough space on our hard drive. After a long conversation with tech support, I was going to purchase some more space. In the middle of this conundrum, my phone happened to fall in the filled bathtub. Immediately, we got it into rice; however, to no avail. All was lost from the last couple of years.
Since I moved to Bend about 3 years ago, I was trying to mentally take in that I had lost most of my contacts from Bend. Just. Like. That. A. NEW. Start. A. Clean. Slate.
Easy? You may think so. I told my husband that I was going to choose to see this as a blessing in disguise because when would I ever take the time and effort to go through and weed things out? This was a forced clean slate. And sometimes that’s what we need for a new start.
One scripture that caught my eye this morning was from the first verse of our scheduled Bible plan this year that we are doing at Epikos church, the life journal.
Genesis 12:1, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.’”
That’s quite a promise. This promise also required quite a change. It required a major break with all that Abram knew. Abram was required to leave all that was comfortable and familiar.
The beginning of each year seems to bring a nice break and clean slate for me…atleast mentally. I take some time at the end of the year to access what I’ve accomplished and completed and look at the new year and consider what needs to change and exit so that the real dreams in my heart can be expressed. This year has been no different. As I have been considering what to eliminate it has been so clear to me that unless we say NO to the unnecessary, we can’t say YES to the best. Unless we say NO to the peripheral, we can’t say YES to the essential. Unless we say NO to the urgent, we can’t say yes to the important.
It’s time for a recalibration. We live one life. We all are given the same number of hours in a day. It’s time to redeem the time. It’s time to do the the first things first. It’s time to adjust and align with what’s most important and leave the unimportant. It’s time to ask God:
As we prune our lives like this…I, for one, am excited to see God’s breakout in and through me. I am excited to walk in the calling for which I’ve been called! I am excited to express the passions He’s put in my heart through the minutes and hours I’ve been given. I’m excited to make Jesus famous in Bend, Oregon and throughout the earth as I live His love outloud through me!
Aren’t you???? Come and join me in this grand and glorious purging!! And let’s welcome in the new with open arms!!
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Shanda Harris is a lover of Jesus, dedicated wife, mother of 6 and the Women's Pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.