Well, if you’re reading this op-ed, like me, you survived the infamous year, 2020! Now, we can genuinely apply the old saying, “Hind site is 2020.” HA! I don’t know about you, but I am all for putting this last year in the rear-view mirror and moving forward. HOLY COW, what a year it was!!!
(We pause for this station identification)
Personally, there are a couple of new things in my world. If you missed my Christmas 2020 article, you’ll again find a link to our new website below. Check it out! It is a work in progress, but our crew is doing a great job of bringing all of the facets of my calling and work into focus in one location – www.life-coach-south.org, and I am so grateful for their efforts. From life coach work to consulting, to ministry and guest chef work, you’ll be able to find helpful information and better understand how I might serve you in 2021. Also, check out the other link in this article, our new feature, FRONT LINE TRAVEL, with BRORO. This month you’ll see a facility for which I had the privilege of completing the design and development work, as well opening it and training the staff. It’s a great stop if you’re traveling north on the Natchez Trace.
(Now, back to our regularly scheduled program) - article in this case, I guess. . .
I asked the question, but personally, have you really taken time to evaluate your life over the holiday season, determining what really needs to be NEW in your world as 2021 unfolds? YES! I get it! I began 2020 with my Daytimer in hand, well-planned and ready. (I’m an organizer.) Then the world went to Hell in a Handbasket! I might as well have thrown that hundred-dollar planner refill in the garbage! Very few of us saw the year 2020 unfold as we had planned. In some ways we’re still recovering from the fallout of the year we hope to leave in the rear-view mirror. Then again, the writers of the Proverbs and Psalms remind us that God really does order our steps, in spite of the plans we attempt to make. (Proverbs 16:9/Psalm 37:23) Nonetheless, with both challenges and opportunities before us, we must each be honest about things in our lives over which we do have sway and determine where and how our lives could be made better by a new level of personal accountability in this New Year.
I say it often in counseling and life-coaching, “I do one thing – give out tools.” Come to me for social, emotional, behavioral care, I’ll help you build a toolbox to work through the life issues you are facing. Hire me as a consultant for your restaurant, I’m going to take forty-plus years of restaurateuring experience, education and training, and devise a plan to help you correct the problems you placed before me. It’s almost laughable, however. In spite of the fact that people will pay good money for my professional input, I cannot tell you how many times, from couples with marital strife to clients with business challenges, I will get six months into a working relationship, and individuals will say, “I’m not happy. This isn’t working!” When asked if they are using the tools I provided, more times than not, the resounding answer is, “NO! I didn’t like that suggestion. Your tools take too much commitment on my part. I wanted YOU to fix my situation!” (Folks just hate personal responsibility.)
Isn’t that typical of frail, fallen humanity? We’d love for things to be new, but we really don’t want to pay the price, personally. For many years in my business and ministry endeavors I had a saying printed on the back of my business cards. It read, “Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, he can achieve; so long as it is not against the rules of man or the laws of God, and he is absolutely willing to pay the cost.” THOSE LAST EIGHT WORDS GET ‘EM EVERY TIME!!! Some want their marriage restored, but they want everyone else to do the work and hand them a Norman Rockwell painting kind of life. Many want more structure and profitability in their business, but when it demands of them PERSONALLY, then employees, a consultant like me, or the rainy weather end up getting the blame. – We read of this personality type in Luke’s gospel account, about chapter eighteen. Seems a well-to-do young man who was marked by wealth and know as one of the best “Sunday Dance” guys in his city, kept feeling as if he was missing something. He came to Christ, asking about the missing piece in his life. Christ shared with him the true cost of finding what he was lacking. The personal responsibility for finding everything to fill the void in his life came at such a high price that the young man hung his head and walked away. Most likely, he had come with hopes of an easy fix. After all, he was a superstar church goer, he was a rule keeper, and he was wealthy and prominent. Surely, Christ, the King of the Universe could “FIX” whatever the longing was with a few simple words so this young man could have all that he truly wanted in a matter of minutes. Sadly, for the young man, Christ’s response, in short, was “You have to be willing to pay the cost. . .”
Not to be rhetorical, but again, I ask WHAT’S NEW!? If you want NEW in the New Year, then old things are going to have to go! Feeling guilt or shame or remorse for something in your life is just an emotional expression. Folks HATE the word REPENT! It brings not only the confession, but also demands a turning away. Friend, to have a new life in Christ, old things must pass away. (YOUR PAST ONLY BECOMES YOUR PAST WHEN YOU PERMANENTLY LEAVE IT IN THE PAST. . . FACT!) Christ doesn’t offer a surface makeover for your screwed up human frailty, pride and destructive living. He offers A BRAND-NEW LIFE - in EXCHANGE for your old life! Likewise, for those who are already followers of Christ, that “Sunday Dance” doesn’t cut it - as evidenced by the “Rich Young Ruler.” II Corinthians says that the old GOES and new takes its place when real change comes. THE NEW STARTS WITH YOU!! Blame whomever you will or whatever seems convenient, but if you really want NEW in some area of your life, you’re gonna have to face the man in the mirror (gender free term) and be HONEST about what that face staring back at you from the mirror has to do DIFFERENTLY. . .
I love the old saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Friend, may I encourage you to make a commitment like never before in this new year? Commit to changing YOU, your habits, your patterns of behavior, your will, to align with the One who gave you life. He makes all things NEW.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
Brother Royce I Cor.