Farewell 2008

newyearseve

It’s been a crazy year.

New baby.

New job.

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:

Kelly:

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

Dennis:

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.

Not bad.

So long 2008. Here’s to a fresh start in 2009.

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