“-- And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.”
I love to garden. When the ground starts to thaw I have the itch to get my hands dirty and start working the soil. I have good intentions but I don’t persevere. Just like in my spiritual life.
Numerous Januaries I have promised God and myself that this year would be different. I would develop a plan and stick with it. I would read the Bible, pray more, serve more and love more. I would “finish the race.” Before long, the plan is a shambles and life has triumphed over resilience. Sound familiar?
Gordon MacDonald, in his book A Resilient Life, states, “Resilience belongs to the person who pursues it relentlessly.” It’s at that word “relentlessly” where most of us fail. Scripture tells us success is within our reach if we will endure and finish the race.
Here are five goals for 2013 that will help finish the race which “God has set before us.”
1. Define your current Spiritual life. Determine how you need to improve it. Be honest when you do this. Admit past failures but also identify your victories.
2. Share your plan with someone you trust. Be accountable to them. This is a critical step. Without accountability failure is inevitable.
3. Read the Bible every day. A wide variety of plans are out there to help with this task. Go online to find one you like or ask someone else what they’re doing. Don’t assume you can accomplish this goal without a plan -- you can’t.
4. Pray daily. Set aside an actual time to pray every day and be faithful to it. Prayer is the underpinning of everything else in your plan. If it helps, determine how long you are going to pray and actually set a timer. This is one way to stay focused.
5. Journal. This is a step many will want to by-pass because they don’t see the benefit. Journaling is a spiritual discipline that will accelerate personal growth in a number of ways. Google “Christian Journaling” to learn more.
Just as a garden requires attention and nurturing, so does our spiritual life. How well our spiritual garden grows in 2013 is entirely up to each of us. Have a good year.