So after the hostile response to my last post from Finland (my Christmas tree-cutting has me labelled as an anti-environmentalist, and the action will result in the death of many a lesser-spotted tree squirrel) it is with great fear and trepidation that I approach the writing of this one…
I’ve shared with a few people about my 2008, what I’m hoping for, how I’m going to challenge myself and grow, and I hope, as I share these things with you, they will encourage and provoke you to start to plan your next year to be a life-transforming one.
I ended ’07 listening to a sermon on Thanksgiving. It was a good reminder that ‘God is good, and does only good’ (Ps 119:68), and thus should be praised in every situation, but it also led me to start really thinking about what I had to be thankful for from 2007. When I journalled a couple days ago, I wrote out a long list, which included, among other things, my house and -mates, my work placement, the missions trip, my job, SAFE and MEC, and the list goes on…
When looking back on my first 2007 post, here’s what I wrote:
‘Spiritually, [in 2006] I can’t really state a specific change, but I know that in some ways I have grown, and in others I have not. I know God’s been teaching me a lot of things. This year, God’s been impressing on my mind that it is to be a year of maturity. ‘
I believe (disagree if you like, but whatever) that ‘year of maturity’ was spot-on. I’ve entered my twenties, which I suppose is a feat in itself (you know how hard it is to age, takes so much effort to live) but I think I’ve started on the road to becoming someone responsible and, hopefully, wiser. Lost a lot of my impulsiveness and thoughtless-ness. By no means perfect – in fact, a lot of my growth has been from realising just how fallen and imperfect I really am – but teachable.
I’m so excited about this next year, I can’t wait ’til next January when I can recount all the things God’s done for me.
As it says at the top, for me 2008 will be a year of faith. I’ve put in some small and big requests to God that I’d love to see Him fulfill, and I’m pretty certain He will simply because He’s a God who loves to bless so that we can go out and tell everyone about it.
Not only have I asked God for blessing, but I’ve also felt that I really need to get out there and start doing things that I’m not particularly experienced at, but that would stretch and train me for the future He has for me. One of those tasks was to try and start investing my resources, rather than ‘spending’ them – in particular, investing my time and knowledge in building others. There comes a point where your growth is stunted until you start to get involved in helping others to grow themselves – like a cascade fountain, one flowing into the other and then the next – unless you’re pouring God’s water out into other people’s lives, you’ll fill up, the flow will stop and the water will begin to stagnate. He can’t put any more into you until you start to pour it out. And what he does fill you with will be even greater than what filled you before!