3 Things to embrace in the New Year

As the sun sets on the year 2016, the sun also rises on the new year 2017.  Although it is just another day on the calendar, New Year's is for me a season of reflection, evaluation, dreaming, and goal setting.  In the midst of this semi-colon between the years, I have been reminded of three specific lessons.

3 things 2016 taught me to embrace in 2017

Life is fleeting!  Life is fleeting; capture great moments.  2016 has been labeled by many as "the Year that Took Our Heroes."  Celebrities die every year, because they're people... just like me and just like you, but 2016 seemed to be a year with an overwhelming number of celebrity deaths.  When a celebrity dies, I usually take a time to honor them with a moment of silence, aka "Rest In Peace," then perhaps a few moments, or a couple of hours, immersed in their art.  I feel like my generation really took the idea of celebrity to new places, and see these people as other-than-human, and larger than life (read my own wrestling with this on a very deep level in this blog entry on the death of Prince).  For celebrities, we're left with captured moments.  Be it music, film, sports stats, books, etc., we have captured moments to enjoy and cherish.  We all need to do this!  Life is fleeting, and death is a part of it for everyone, so capture great moments.  Capture and share.

Live Passionately!  Take great risks, because life is the great adventure.  In 2016, my family left a great place, where we happened to be very comfortable, and relocated to Natchitoches, LA, a community where we really didn't know anyone, to plant a new church: Awaken Church.  Yes, we spent a LOT of time in prayer, and sought wise counsel, before we made the decision to do this, but that didn't change the fact that this move was/is a great risk.  As 2017 begins, we're still a long way from launching weekly worship gatherings, but the New Year brings fresh excitement to the calling!  Live out your passion; take great risks!  If you wait until everything is in place, you will never move to where you need to be.  Experience the great adventure that is life, or stay comfortable. You can't do both.

Love Much!  Love much; embrace unity in diversity.  A moment with the "news" of 2016 revealed how divided we can be. A presidential election that caused people to act and react with animosity, and even hate, toward one another... violence in the streets... nightclubs bombed... police officers murdered... refugees refused... #blacklivesmatter #bluelivesmatter #alllivesmatter... 2016 taught me that there is much diversity in our world, but its past time for UNITY IN DIVERSITY!  I believe every single person is a beautiful and unique expression of the One Creator.  As the Bible says, we are created in His image.  Its time make our reality the words of Jesus that so many of us like to quote: "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Love your enemies." "Love one another."  I'm not saying that all things are equal, and that everything is righteous, but I am saying that the way of Jesus is to love anyway. Much love, BIG LOVE! Love that says, "I don't understand you; I don't like what you do, but I love you too much to demean you and take your life."  We've got to love much and find unity in diversity.

This is what I'm doing in the New Year.  What about you?  What are you embracing this year?


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