Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New You!

My mum and Aunty Sally at a rellie bash.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
~1 Corinthians 1:7-9

Welcome 2008! It's a brand new year and that time of year where we start to make some decisions or changes or decisions to make changes! For some, it's a 'fresh start'. For others it's time to kick a bad habit, and for others, it just means tearing down the old calendar and putting up the new one. Either way, a new year always seems to bring change to the front of our minds.

What is it that we are changing? When I think about the new year, I think initially, I get motivated about the possibility of being somebody different. Different from the year before, hopefully a better and improved 'me'. I haven't sat down yet and written out a list of new years resolutions yet, probably because I've been motivated not to by not ever keeping ones from years past. But I don't think I'm going for too many drastic changes this year. Maybe write some more, study scripture a little better and get better at making some life changing decisions. That's not too drastic is it? No different from any other year.

I have a hard time though, wrapping my head around this question: Do I want to change this year because I know I need to do some things better, or because I am unhappy with certain parts of who I am? I know that last part sounds kind of depressing, but I think it's true in all of us isn't it? Doesn't the new year bring some excitement, not just to bring change, but a chance to be somebody else?

Dad and Uncle Brian trying to accentuate my lankiness.

Maybe I just have some deep seated psychological issues that I need to address, but I honestly think that most people enjoy placing themselves in the shoes of someone other than themselves. Fictional or factual. For instance, when we go to the movies, don't we sometimes leave the theatre thinking about things for the next hour like the main character? (Sometimes I walk out of a James Bond movie with a finger gun and hide behind walls....ok maybe not!) When we play competitive sports, aren't we motivated by professionals and sometimes take on their traits and mannerisms? Hasn't this new year made you think about someone else and inspired you to be more like them? Think about may scare you a little how much we don't like the way we are, or wish we were different.

But really, don't be scared. I don't think there is anything unhealthy associated with those thoughts unless you are getting seriously depressed by them. And if you are call someone you love RIGHT NOW! I do think however, that new years resolutions can become a little tacky when we set the bar too high. I think then we are really thinking about being someone we aren't. I guess the best way to judge this is to look at your track record...have you been good at making changes like that in the past? Have you been good at keeping up with those changes? Or are you gonna get let down?

From the relly bash. I haven't seen some in over 3 years!

BUT.....maybe you are just that motivated to make that big change, and this year is going to be your year and you have a plan! Awesome! Congratulations and best of luck. I like to think the same thing about myself this year (minus the plan part!). But I think that this year I am going to focus on bringing those changes and seeing them happen, or begin, as a part of who I am and who God has made me to be.

Thinking about being someone else won't ever give me any sense of accomplishment, I think. I don't like who I am sometimes and I often say things I don't mean, do things I shouldn't have. But if I don't find that grouchy dog and give him some good discipline then I'm just left with a mask on my face. (I hope everyone understands that metaphor)

Mum, Aunty Sally, Uncle Peter, Brian and Bruce (just missing Uncle Noel)

I was talking with a friend on new years day and he was commenting on how he didn't enjoy sobering up too much after a night of drinking. He said he'd rather just stay buzzed, and I asked the question "All year long?" He said that would be alright. Sometimes, I think people really just enjoy wearing the mask. Personally, I do sometimes as well. But I can say this: I would much prefer to never wear it and be content with who I am....grouchy dog and all.

For those of us who know Jesus, and even those who don't, I think that God has all given us something we are good at. And I don't just mean good I mean REALLY GOOD. Something that people would pay millions of dollars to have (that is not to say that everyone gets 7 figures for it). I believe that EVERYONE has been given that. What's yours? I'm still trying to figure out mine.

My second cousin Jaiden (my little nephew!)

One guy that has figured it out is Joel Osteen. For those of you that don't know, he is probably the most watched preacher in the world, with over 7 million people tuning in to watch every Sunday. His church is an old basketball arena that seats about 70K. A lot of people in Christian circles don't like him because they claim he doesn't talk about sin, or emphasize Jesus enough and just gives a feel good message. But, to his credit, he has figured out what he is good at: motivating people. And he knows it. He doesn't try to claim to do anything else. He knows there are more qualified people out there to teach scripture and theology (and there certainly are!). But even though he is 'light on the Gospel', do you think that maybe out of those 7 million every Sunday that at least one maybe meets Jesus for the first time? Maybe you'll end up discipling one of them some day. Like him or not, God is definately using him.

Lisa and Becca at Cable Beach, Broome

So I guess some more of my questions are, how is God using you? What has He given you that you are good at? What kind of person are you and are you OK with that? How is the mask treating you these days? Do you need to give that grouchy dog a whack on the nose? I know I do, but I'm working on being OK with that.
Me on my first day of surfing lessons....shocking I know!