Refocus in 2012
There’s an old adage that says “Confession is good for the soul.” I’m not sure where that saying originated, but it does have agreement in the Scriptures. Anyway, I have a public confession to make: I am both a perfectionist and a procrastinator – and I have a strong notion that the first malady contributes greatly to the second.
Over the years I’ve done several recording projects, and each time I listen to them, I hear the weaknesses or mistakes and wish I could re-do them. Fortunately we’ve had album producers who have said, “How much do you have that you can spend on perfection? Most people won’t notice the difference between good and perfect.”
I have written stories, articles and even books that have never been submitted for publication. I’ve written songs that have never been recorded nor sung in public.
I also have projects on my “to-do” list that have never been started, even though I consider them “important”, because I can’t seem to carve out a significant amount of time to complete them to my standard of excellence. I’m easily distracted by the “immediate”, and there is always so much “immediate” that “needs” to be done. Anybody tracking with me here?
Now that I’ve lived more years than I care to disclose in a public document, I realize that it’s time to focus or I’ll come to the end with nothing accomplished besides the “immediate” – which most often tends to be those repetitive things that are part of daily living.
I’ve decided to undergo a beginning-of-the-New-Year overhaul that I hope will get me on the right track for a productive and creative 2012.
Here’s my five-point plan; maybe it will be an encouragement to get you moving in 2012.
- Reflect – on my past year. What progress have I made, or what seems to be impeding that progress? Is it the same ole, same ole things? Where am I stuck? What needs to change?
- Repent – about anything that I’ve allowed to side-track me from things which I truly believe God has called me and equipped me to do.
The Scripture says in Eph. 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
If nothing is being accomplished through my life for the kingdom of God, then one of several things may be true:
1. I have not yet asked my Heavenly Father what He has prepared for me to do. Oh, I have plenty of ideas of things I can do, but if He has not prepared them for me, there will be no kingdom payoff.
2. I’m not a good listener – or have not taken the time to listen.
3. I’m wasting my time and energies on other things – even other “good” things – that are not His appointments.
4. I’m afraid to try to do what I think He is asking me to do.
In any case, I need to “repent – which means to agree with God – and get on His program. Not getting-on with His plans could be sin (disobedience), fear of failure (unbelief), or getting too busy with “life” (neglect of spiritual enterprises for the sake of the mundane). I don’t think He will ask me how clean I’ve kept my home or how organized my closets are. Not even how many hours I have spent reading the Bible.
Upward. How much time do I spend focusing on daily rituals or things on my need-to-do list, rather than asking God for His plan for the day? Does He really have my ear even as I go about daily chores so that He can call me away from them to enter my “listening room”?
Outward. Am I “other-aware” as I move about in public places? Am I “other-aware” and “other-motivated” when I pray? Or do I pray mostly for me and mine? I have a sense that most of the good works that “God has prepared in advance for us to do” involve activities that affect others.
Social media is a big time-involvement phenomenon – but does what I share or post or tweet mostly involve “me”, or does it seek to motivate, minister to, comfort, or encourage others? Frankly, I really don’t care what someone had for breakfast that got posted on Facebook. What are you doing, what am I doing that makes a difference in anyone’s life?
Phil. 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
- Risk – I want to believe God for something I can’t do on my own and step out to take a risk in 2012! With one of the books I’ve been writing, with someone I need to win to the Lord, with a social injustice I can help make right, with someone’s attitude I can influence for good. With a mission that God may want to send me on.
- Rest – When I walk in the work that He had prepared beforehand, it brings me into a place of rest as I entrust the results into His hands.
Matt. 11:28-30 “ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I trust you will enter 2012 with renewed enthusiasm for walking in the good works that God has prepared ahead of time specifically for you to do. May you enter with a “Yes, Lord,” a listening ear, a heart to obey, courage to risk something new, and the on-going refreshment of resting in Him for the results.
God bless you in 2012!
©2011, Marcy Alves
Posted on January 8, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, My Journey, Reflections and tagged 2012, Christianity, doing God’s work, Facebook, goals, good works, New Year, perfectionism, personal change, procrastination, refocusing in 2012, risk taking, setting goals. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.