2019 was a tough year for our family. Another of our fathers died unexpectedly (my father-in-law passed late in 2018), and two of our family groups were uprooted as a result. My family was one of those. We’ve been living in a basement now for almost 6 months, and I’m without a church to pastor.
But if we had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change much at all.
When my brother-in-law died back in June, we saw the need for me to serve as a father-figure to my nephews. But I was pastoring in another city. So when I looked at my job as a pastor and the needs of my family, I realized this: many people can pastor a church, but I was the only one who could step in for the gap in my family.
I’m sure some people thought what I did was a little extreme. I believe some of my former church members still don’t understand it. I’m sure some people thought there were other cryptic reasons for our resignation and move I didn’t want to share.
But the hard truth was God had been preparing me for this moment for a while. He’d been showing me how many of the things I’d sacrificed for–job, career, security–were of little to no value. I began to be reminded that the truly important things are those you can rarely purchase, put in a bank, or impress your friends with.
Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned this year. I post them for you to consider as potential resolutions in this new year of 2020. But remember, even if you do not choose, you will have already made a choice. Inaction will spark its own outcome, but proactive steps of action can truly be life-changing.
My 2020 resolutions:
- Other than God himself, put people first. Relationships are all that will last. And they don’t last forever, so take advantage of every moment together.
- Surprise, you’re going to die. So stop being limited by your fears and live to the fullest. You won’t get another chance.
- More than just family, you need friends. Sacrifice everything short of family to live near your friends.
- When money’s your goal, it eventually destroys everything else of true value. So stop evaluating life based upon how much of it you’ve collected.
- Your pursuit of happiness is the best guarantee you’ll never find it. Stop going for the big wins and cherish the small victories each day can hold.
- Nobody cares how wonderful you are. So stop living to empress anyone but God.
- You can’t fix the past. So say your apologies and move on, quickly. Time is running out.
- Never pass up an opportunity to encourage someone. Because EVERYONE needs encouragement, most all the time.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not them, you don’t truly know them, and they probably couldn’t handle your journey anyway.
- Live like God is watching, because he is. Life is a gift, and you’ll be called to account for how you used it. So stop messing around and make it count!