The old black slip-on's with the elastic strap--they were my favorites. Ah, could such comfort ever be known? Each time I stepped into them it felt as if I was walking on marshmallows. But after years of wear, the scuffed leather frayed and cracked, and each sole developed a hole the size of a quarter. One unfortunate afternoon the heel fell off somewhere in a shopping center downtown. (Anyone see a heel around!?) Poor old worn-out foot-friends. I'd have no choice but start over with a new pair.
Start over --that's exactly what I intended to do four weeks ago on January 1st, New Year's Day. Resolutions? Nope. I'd never keep 'em. However, I did began the year with the hope of bettering myself, and I'd come up with a few goals.
Can it really be the end of January? Here comes February...right on our heels (couldn't resist). My hopes for 2019 are still fresh in my mind; however, I have to admit they're still on my to-do list. I did make a little progress--one small change, but I want to do better. I want to start fresh. Begin again.
There it is, that prefix, "re." It shows up in our language often, whether we notice it or not. "Re," from the Latin, as we know, means "again" (or "again and again"). Many words in our vocabulary start with this "again" theme: renew, refresh, recharge, regenerate, restore, revitalize, revive, redo, or recreate. The list could go on.
I realized more thought might need to go into my plan for the "go again," "re-new" focus for 2019, so I came up with four questions to clarify the process. I hope this will help you as it did me.
Questions to ask yourself:
1).What 3 goals do I want to accomplish this year?
(a)_______________ (b) _______________ (c) _______________
2).Of these goals, which one is most important to me, and why?
3).What steps will I take to reach my goals?
4).Lastly, are my goals written down in a convenient place where I will "re-member" them and "re-view" them as needed?
Making goals is easy. The hard part, you guessed it, is doing the work to complete our goals. It's no wonder few new year's resolutions are made, and even fewer kept. Renewal takes time, and the process can become discouraging. However, be encouraged, for the Bible is filled with verses about renewal. These are just two of them to give as examples:
1). From 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2).From Romans 12:2 - "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
We love new things, but often struggle to let go with what is old or familiar. Maybe it's a material thing--like an old pair of shoes--or maybe it's something not so tangible, such as our spirit. We can get weary, as can our spirit. Some even become spiritually broken. Maybe it's just a faint crack, barely visible. Or perhaps it's more serious, like extensive brokenness of shattered glass. Spiritual fatigue, weariness, or brokenness requires God's healing--and His new and right spirit within us.
My old shoes sat in the closet for a long time, but I finally let them go. It was time to "re-new," or should I say "re-shoe?" It wasn't easy saying goodbye, but with frayed and cracking leather, missing heel and holes in the soles, they were no longer wearable.
I bought new black shoes with the elastic strap, similar to the old ones. Perfect fit. But stiff. No marshmallow feel, at least not yet. But, I'm adjusting to the newness and my feet are adapting. As I step out in them, I'm confident they'll carry me wherever I need to go.
Spiritually, I'm making changes, too. I've got a few scuffed-up areas that need some work. If necessary, I can start over with the material of a new perspective. I'll be able to "re-new," or may I say, "re-shoe" the foothold of my faith.
2019: It's time to "re-new!" Are you on board? Ready? Set? Here we go (again) for a new year!
Dear God: It is my hope that anyone reading this will have confidence as they step out into faith in this New Year, and that they may successfully reach the goals they would like to attain. In Jesus' Name, Amen. .
Thought for the day: "May we never have holes in our souls!"
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