Happy New Year!! Let me take this opportunity to wish you a prosperous, blessed and fruitful year filled with good health, laughter, happiness and abundance in every form.
Like most people, I like to set goals to guide me on what to aim for in the year ahead. As a guide, I often turn to my journals which I have kept for over eleven years. In addition to recording moments of gratitude, some other things find their way into these journals. Many times when life happens and brings me the unexpected, I like to go and immerse myself in these journals if only to remind me of God’s faithfulness through the years.
After taking stock of how the past year went, I write down my goals for the coming year in form of prayer requests. This year when I read through my prayer requests for 2016, I discovered that about 60% of them have not YET been answered. What is surprising however is I consider 2016 to have been a productive year. My highlight was starting and sustaining this blog.
This realisation reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend who told me although she had set a particular goal for her business in 2016 she had not achieved it. Things had taken a different turn but her business had become profitable through means she did not anticipate when she set her goals for last year. Luckily for my friend she is elated at her results.
Reflecting on these two scenarios got me thinking how in most cases we choose to view our lives with a fixed mindset. When set deadlines do not happen we may count this as a loss and register a failure instead of looking at it as God having orchestrated things to ensure they happen according to his timing. After this reflection I am walking away with two lessons.
1. We should never trade our deadlines for God’s timing
In scripture we are told “many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. As you take stock of what you achieved or have not yet achieved remember this verse. This verse does not ask us not to plan. Far from it! Instead it requires we plan but keep an open mindset to what God brings our way after all he alone knows “the end from the beginning and what will come and his purposes will stand since he does what he pleases.”
The results of what I set out to achieve have not discouraged me from going ahead and setting fresh goals for this year. In spite of the fact that much of what I wanted to do last year was not done, I refuse to look at this as failure; instead I will focus on the 40% that came through plus the other achievements which I did not anticipate and this is what is propelling me forward.
2. “Do not despise the small beginnings”
One of my goals for last year was to conduct four workshops. I worked hard, designed the material then sought out the people to train but in spite of all my efforts I only managed to have one workshop. Instead of looking at this in a negative way, am choosing to look at it as a step in the right direction. It is a small beginning that by God’s grace will result into big things one day. I am glad I did my best with the one opportunity that came my way. We are called to work with excellence and be faithful even in the ‘small’ opportunities we get. Let us purpose to begin where God has placed us, do what we can and leave the rest to him.
Maybe like me you have a result of 40% or less regarding what you wanted to achieve last year. My advise would be instead of focusing on what you did not do, look outside the box and see what other things were not on your list but were an accomplishment for you. Maya Angelou taught us
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better”
Let us start this year with a positive mindset and believe that our best days lie ahead of us and not behind us. We should also set aside our deadlines and instead trust God’s timing because it is always perfect.