as i write this, the curtains are closing on 2017. the stage lights are shutting off one by one, and everyone in the audience is putting on their jackets to exit the theatre. just outside, a new year awaits the embrace of those who have been dreaming and sowing seeds. like a wife of a man coming home from service, the year does not know what to expect. are they the same people they started out as last year? will they be battered and bruised from their travels? how will their memories of the past distort what's in-store for them this year? while the wife may struggle with the uncertainty of what's to come, the husband just wants to come home, embrace his family and be present.
i plan on being like that husband in 2018—present in everything at all times. yes, i know what you’re probably thinking. she’s taking the easy way out. you might even tell me something along the lines of, “the future belongs to those who prepare for it today” quoting eleanor roosevelt. okay, got it. well guys, to that i then ask you if you ever got around to running that marathon or even stuck to the workout schedule you made at the beginning of the year. truth is, most of us do away with our new year's resolution before the end of january. in fact, according to some folks over at the university of scranton, only about 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions in a given year. and here we are again, another year pulling out those planners and life maps to be specific, measurable, and attainable.
the year 2017 has offered me so much. i recall sitting up in my bed around 3 am early january and making a list of the things i wanted to accomplish this year. on that list, i had a few financial goals, professional goals, and spiritual goals. next to each of them, i wrote a tentative date indicating when each should be met. while not every one of them were met, i can say that i’ve made huge strides this year. i am lighter, having let go of mental weights that were keeping me stagnant. i’ve grown a lot closer to god, which i attribute much of my other growth areas to and i’m more unapologetically myself now than i ever was.
so, i am holding myself accountable to one resolution in the year of 2018—don’t look back. i don’t want to miss what is in front of me because i am so worried about what i did or did not do yesterday. as i wrote in a previous post, the day we wake up and decide that today is the day and put in the necessary labor is when we reap the benefits. we cannot change the fact that we may have stumbled yesterday or even an hour ago. we also cannot go ahead of time and alter the things meant for tomorrow. all we ever have at any given moment is the present. in my devotional this week, i came across verse of scripture that really stuck with me which says, “only let us live up to what we have already attained” (philippians 3:16, niv). here, the writer was teaching a group of people the importance of moving forward toward a prize that they were already promised but in doing so, they were to forget what was behind them. no matter how you decide to look at it, looking back is putting a pause on the present. if we look back to assess our growth, we are telling our present to hold on. if we are looking back in regret of a wrong turn along the way, we put a halt on our present.
therefore, let us live up to what we have already attained. those seeds that you sowed in 2017 are sure to blossom as long as you till the soil. trust in the foundations that you’ve built for yourselves and keep building. be present in growth. be present in love. be present in giving. my hope for you this year is the same as the hope maya angelou once had for herself:
"my great hope is to laugh as much as i cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return."
peace, love, & blessings!