The piping hot coffee coupled with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked cookies was presented in front of the men and women I was positioned in front of. Their wrinkled faces peered at me, waiting for me to speak on the topic at hand: New Year’s Resolutions. As I talked, they munched and sipped…at least for the first several minutes. Then with each point I emphasized came a lowering of their coffee cups and cookies.
I wish I could say this was good news, that they were so intent to change their lives and so enthralled with what I was saying that they just had to place their goodies down to listen.
But I’m sure even Tony Robbins would have been harshly critiqued by this crowd if he had the same topic.
The words were flung around, “New Year’s Resolutions? What good are they for? I’m too old to have any dreams of anything getting better. What goals could I possibly have at my age?”
I didn’t understand them at the time. They were well advanced in years and used their age as a reason as to why they didn’t want to create change in their life.
I didn’t know how scary it was to dream dreams until even what seemed like the most realistic dreams became out of reach because of my health struggles.
So while everyone is writing out nicely laid out plans for their start of the new year, there are some who may have more of a challenge. This could be the woman with a new health condition, already noticing the physical halting of her body restraining her from tasks that she could have done easily…years ago. How does she dream forward, when she can’t seem to even attain what she did just years ago?
Or what about the woman who has a half a dozen young children that she bravely chose to home-school yet hardly has the energy and time available to take a fifteen-minute shower?
A change forward is still possible, but our dreams of today cannot be structured around the bodies or situations we used to have, or the future we wanted then, or even the future we want now.
I can empathize with my older hecklers of the past. It can be tricky to have goals when you feel like your better days were already lived in the far-off years of yesterday.
But then I heard a message that changed my perspective on this matter. Think of your legacy and what you want to leave behind in this life, not these motivational goals that fizzle out in a month. That makes my trepidation for the future a little more manageable and I’m sure it does for those of you who have your own struggles as well.
Some of us may not be able to dream lofty career or educational goals, but we can all dream in terms of legacy, desiring for this year to be a year marked by a deeper imprint of a legacy to leave behind. We can…
Love more abundantly.
When I had one of my first health scares years ago, I felt burdened by the thought that I hadn’t loved enough. Did I really want to leave this earth knowing that love wasn’t a priority of mine? This doesn’t mean divorcing ourselves from the truth, only, are we making an intentional effort to love more than we criticize or compete?
Reminding ourselves of our identity.
If we don’t know who we even are, how do we expect to make a lasting impact? I’m not talking about being so introspective that we can’t look past our navel. What I am talking about is knowing ourselves in an identity that’s lasting. For those of us in the Christian faith, that means knowing who we are in Christ. For refortification, you can get a choice of three different printables here.
Take every thought captive.
Are we being intentional in our thought life so those rotten thoughts don’t sink in deeper into our psyche, eventually influencing our action?
Focus on our daily mission.
When we have struggles that seem to be insurmountable, it can be a little difficult to think too far into the future. But even though we have troubles that weigh us down, we can think about today. What is our mission today that could influence our tomorrows?
Do you remember the older people I was talking too? If I were to do a do-over, I would encourage them to scratch off the list any of my “encouraging words” to re-organize their closet or any other cliched motivational resolution and instead, remind them what they already know- to live life with a legacy in mind.
I would say the same for us, too.
Live with a legacy in mind, friends,