It’s barely thirteen days into January and perhaps you are already over 2017 being the year for living out your big, wide-eyed dreams. Maybe you feel hopeful like I do and encouraged at how far you’ve come in so many areas of your life. Maybe you’re afraid that this year is going to be a repeat of last year where everyone dies and your afraid that real art is now lost somehow.
Last Wednesday I felt like I was on top of the world, my youth service clicked, the Holy Spirit moved in such a special way in the hearts of my students, and I felt like it was one of my best sermons. Here’s the deal, I really want each time I preach to be a home run. I want to feel the chills and fight back tears and feel the spirit moving. I live for that. I want to feel prepared, not scattered. Prayed up instead of stressed out. Filled up ready to pour myself out instead of in need of a three-day nap. When I walked into the room this Wednesday, part of me panicked a tiny bit. I wanted what we experienced last week to happen again. But, I was already comparing our service to last week and the spiritual high I felt last time.
I’ve always said that if the Holy Spirit doesn’t show up when I speak or write, there is absolutely no way for me to simply run on experience, talent, or a good outline. I pray, I prepare, and then I show up and give it my best. So, it wasn’t my best message but I loved on those kids with everything I had. Next week I’ll do the same. I felt insecurities creep up and remind me that I’m a much better writer than a preacher. And, it’s not untrue and that’s okay. I made a decision to think about several things that did go extremely well during our service and thought about what I would do differently next time. But, I didn’t beat myself up. At all. To me, that is real progress.
Today I had coffee and lunch with my dear friend, Holley, and we talked about our Facebook live about having a New Year’s Revolution instead of making resolutions. I told her about how last night went and how I felt a little disappointed by it but I also told her about the things I celebrated.
I think it’s important to talk about how our dreams and disappointments collide. They are woven together for a deeper purpose. Real success is in who we are becoming in Christ, not in what we are producing. Growing in the fruits of the Spirit is the opposite of failure.
I want to live differently in the in-between place of the mountaintop high and the mundane. I’m not going crush life every day, but I can make the most of every day and keep showing up. I want to take those so-so results and turn them into something that I can praise God for. Yes, I want the mountaintop and chill bumps. I want to feel all the feels and live life to the fullest. But, sometimes breakthrough is more about our mindset than our measuring stick.
Because I am learning how to remove “should” from vocabulary, I am waking up with my “why” firmly established for living.
No more, “I should have done___________.”
Living in step with the spirit is far better than the pathway of success. Our faith is exercised by looking at the truth in scripture as our remedy, our healing salve, and our anchor when our emotions are all over the map.
When our delight is in the Lord and our hope is deeply rooted in faith, we will yield a harvest in due season and our soul will prosper even in the mundane, tilling-the-soil seasons.
Much love to you,
You can watch our Facebook Live, “A New Year’s Revolution” here. I hope you are encouraged by Suzie Eller, Holley Gerth, and I chatting about our hopes for 2017. Leave me a comment, I would love to hear how your 2017 is going so far. 😉
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25 ESV)
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3