Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Celebrating the New Year

While reading Michael Hyatt's "Intentional Leadership" blog post this week (if you don't subscribe, you really should!), I was skewered by a life specific principle Michael quoted from his mentor, best-selling author Robert D. Smith. It went like this:

"Eat dessert first. Learn to celebrate life and then live out of that celebration."

I think the reason these wise words resonated with me is because of the "Life Saver of the Month" (like Flavor of the Month but much sweeter) scriptures I had recently written on the first day of each month on my 2013 calendar.

Life Saver of the Month scriptures are an idea I came up with to help me focus on a short, pithy, powerful new verse each month of the new year, so that by next December, I'll have 12 new weapons to add to my spiritual arsenal. On the first day of the month, I jot the Life Saver verse on sticky notes and post them in all the places I'll be sure to see them daily ... my bathroom mirror, car console, the Godiva stash in my desk drawer. You know, the go-to  hot spots.

Then, every time I run across the Life Saver, I repeat it aloud and let it marinate in my mind. Savor the Saver. Suck the joy out of that spiritual treat until it's completely digested and permanently implanted in my innards. 

As I encountered Robert Smith's clever advice, I was struck with how very similar it was to several of the Life Saver's I'd chosen to focus on this year. I noticed a repetitive theme: praise and celebration of life. The concept is obviously as important to Papa God as it is to Mr. Smith.

"Let your living spill over into thanksgiving." (Col 2:7, MSG)

"Let's not sleepwalk through life like those others." (1 Thes 5:6, MSG)

"May the Master pour on the love so it fills your lifes and splashes over on everyone around you." (1 Thes 3:12, MSG)

"It's the praising life that honors me." (Psalm 50:23, MSG).

Altering my pessimistic thinking so that my mood stays out of the gutter is something I've always struggled with, and I suspect that's why I was attracted to these particular verses for my collection of Life Savers during my quiet times throughout 2012.

And then Papa reinforced that more celebration needs to be my New Year's focus by the pertinent words of Michael and Robert (both vibrant Christ-followers).

Okay. I get it. Thanks, Lord. Simple but profound. And very do-able.

So how about you? During this time of listing New Year's resolutions, have you decided what's going to be your New Year's spiritual focus? I'd love to hear it.

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