My Mid-Year Gut Check

June 6, 2020

Hey, do you ever stop and see if you’re where you wanted to be when the year started? You should. You’ve probably heard the word “trajectory”. It means “the movement of a body over time”. You map your trajectory by marking or measuring your movement in the areas in which you want to make progress at various times along your journey. This is why it’s good to stop at some point and compare where you were to where you are in the pursuit of your desired growth.

The picture that accompanies this post is the first entry in my journal for this year. I wrote these three things down as thoughts to guide my efforts this year. They’re not SMART goals by any stretch but they are arrows or signposts to remind me if I’m anywhere near the path I felt in my heart on 1/6/2020. Each of them has a story behind it.

“LESS IS MORE!” is motivated by the need to close the gap between knowing and doing. As scripture says, “Don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22) I am a ferocious reader, thinker, and some would say stinker. I love to gather information and think about it’s impact on how we live and pursue the potential in us all to live lives of passion and purpose. The problem is it’s easier to get knowledge than it is to live that knowledge. I’m trying to close that gap in my own life.

“LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!” The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Tim 1:5) The word “goal” right there is “telios” and it means “the outcome toward which everything is aimed and moving.” It means “THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE” toward which we measure all progress! I am an 8 on the enneagram. Some of you may not be familiar with the enneagram, but that makes me comfortable with conflict and frequently stubborn and pushy when I think I’m right. I think I’m operating from Love but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way to others. I’m working on it.

“WARRIOR MINDSET!” I’ve been disturbed by how “soft“ I have become. It’s harder to go after something to the point of discomfort than it used to be. I’m surprised that we Christians are surprised when difficult and disturbing things happen in our world. “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3) Scripture surely tells us that life in this current reality will be challenging at best and almost unsurvivable, without God’s grace, at its worst. Coleen and I are committed to developing spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical toughness this year.

“MINDFULNESS MEDITATION” I believe we are losing the capacity to be where we are. It’s very unusual right now to encounter someone who is very good at being fully present in the moment. Technology, pace, and FOMO (fear of missing out) pull us backward and forward in time to where we do not fully engage and enjoy the beauty, pain, or pleasure of the moment we are in. "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matt 6:34) Mindfulness Meditation is a practice that is not optional — it’s essential to your spiritual, mental, and relational health and vitality.

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