Now I really need to make my promise true and share what are my “New Year’s resolutions” before January is half over. Even though I would normally not call them such. As I have mentioned in my last post about this topic:
- I rarely decided these on New Year’s eve,
- they are most often nothing new, but rather ongoing goals,
- most of them are hard to messure, as they are more like guideposts for my spiritual journey.
As mentioned before many of them are like thread of an embroidery – sometimes one is on the surface and then another. I let God guide me on where to focus more. This means that they are never all in focus at the same time, and I might have forgotten some that have not been in focus for some time.
Anyway, I looked at a list of spiritual goals that I had written last September and updated it. At first, it looked rather random. Then I realized that the goals can be grouped in three areas – my relationship with God, with others and with myself. These three areas are no big surprise but rather obvious. Nevertheless, I like it. It makes things more clearly arranged.
- The one most in focus in recent months is loving difficult people. The Lord keeps showing me situation after situation what his agape love means in different contexts. And how he wants me to love people I find difficult. For example, people who have hurt me, where I feel tempted to lash out, make them pay and feel the pain they have caused me. Or people who build walls around them, and I feel scared of their cold attitude. Or people whom I just find strange, where I have a hard time finding them loveable or understanding why they act the way they do. Again and again, the Lord reminds me that “there are many different flowers in his garden” and that “he is especially fond of each of them” (The Shack). At the same time, he helps me realize that most of the times I am not able to love this people in my own strength. This makes me more dependent on him, hoping that when I let him live through me, the impossible will happen.
- There is one topic that is so old that I do not even remember when I started working on it. Come to think, probably it was in 2000 when I read “A hunger for healing” by J. Keith Miller. Through this I realized that I have a problem with controlling. Much has happened since then but I am still learning to “let go and let God”, trusting God to have things under controll and then relaxing even in difficult situations, this is still one of my goals.
- Another theme has to do with what I learned from the Life Model. I want to live more “from the heart Jesus gave me,” discover more and more what it means. What it is that he has put into me as special gift and reflection of his own personality, that unfortunately got buried by all the hurts. The more I discover this, the more I can stop living and reacting from my hurts, but from my heart which he gave me. Another aspect of this is to “live well, not fix others.” This is somewhat related to my tendency to controll. I don’t know if this short phrase makes any sense to those who have not heard it before (please let me know. If it does not make sense, I will need to write another post about it.) One aspect of this is to synchronize with people (put myself in their place), which is something I learning to do more. The third aspect is not to use what the Sheperds’s House calls BEEPS – Behaviors, Events, Experiences, People, Substances that fool the attachment center of our brain. Or more simply put – comforting ourselves with any of these when things don’t work like we would like them to.
- Closely related is the goal to “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31. Even though God healed me from COE a few years ago, this is still a weak spot.
- And then there is the hodgpodge of other things. Some of them closely linked with living more out of God’s love and acceptance and therefore being more gracious towards others: be less judgmental, be less competitive, stop comparing myself with others, stop complaining and arguing (Phil 2:14), let go of my self-protection, be more vulnerable, etc.
Maybe now you no longer wonder, why I don’t feel like these are “New Year’s resolutions” – valid only for the next 12 months. It will take me longer than 12 months to reach these goals. 😉
Obviously, I could not keep all of them in focus at the same time. Thankfully, the Lord is in charge of bringing the different themes to the forefront at different times. He is the Lord of my life and in charge of my overall transformation. May it be all to his glory!