It’s been a crazy year.
Same outlook on life?
My friends Dennis and Kelly have two great thoughts today. One is a video and the other a story from childhood. Here are both:
I’m a terrible swimmer. Seriously, if you ever want a little boost, race me…you’ll win. My parents signed me up for a swim team when I was 10. I went to the first practice just to try it out & that very night the team had their first meet. They were down a swimmer so guess who got to fill in? Yep, me. So, the race I competed in was the front crawl, in other words, your basic swimming stroke. All I had to do was swim down the length of the pool & back. Should be easy, right? The race began & I did okay at first. I kept up with the other girls about the first fourth of the race. After that though, everything fell apart. By the time I finished my first lap, everyone else had already finished the race. Picture now if you will, me, still trying to swim back & the next set of swimmers on their stands ready to begin the next race. I mean, everyone was in their ready position & waiting for the whistle. Nobody realized I was still in the water! Finally, through what had to be divine intervention, someone realized I was still swimming & they stopped and waited…and waited…I could have easily stopped & gotten out of the water, so the next race could start, but I didn’t. There was no way I wasn’t going to complete this race. I thought, “You put me in this water & I’m going to finish!” By the time I did (yes I did!), my arms were so tired I couldn’t even pull myself up. My coach had to literally lift me out of the water. And then he did something that surprised me. He started cheering! I thought he’d be embarrassed, but he was just proud that I didn’t give up.
So, why do I tell this? Well, I thought you might enjoy a cute story. Just kidding! I tell you this because even though I’m a terrible swimmer, I’m awesome at treading water. I can stay in one place for quite a bit of time. But, the point is, I don’t go anywhere. I just stay in one place. I find myself doing this spiritually from time to time. I’m not going anywhere, just staying afloat. But, that’s not the way I want to end my race. I want to come in, just like I did in the story I shared, with the Lord lifting me up at the end. I want to come in tired & exhausted, knowing I used everything He gave me. It’s hard & at times I struggle, but I remind myself that He put me in this water for a reason…
So, to this day, I still have the 6th Place ribbon I received from that race and I smile every time I see it. I may not have come in first, but I finished. My prayer is to one day hear the Lord say, “Well done Kelly.”
“…But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14
I hate to publicly make resolutions, because I’m sure to break them on January 3rd. I could rant on about going to the gym 3 times a week or losing 100lbs or taking a picture every day… Maybe we’ll stick with a few simple changes:
- More time in the Word
- More prayer time
- Open my eyes to really see what’s going on around me
- Try to be more compassionate
- Try to be more intentional
- Grow mentally, spiritually and professionally
- Be a better Dad
- Be a better Husband
You’re never as bad as you could be, but you’re never as good as you could be either.
In high school I had to listen to an audio tape for my job that related to customer service. The one thing I got out of it was this:
Try to improve just 1% a week at whatever you do. At the end of 2 years, you’ll be 100% better at it.
Take that to a daily level and we’re talking close to a 400% improvement by the end of the year.
So long 2008. Here’s to a fresh start in 2009.