Doug Creamer column: Imagine 2013
Aren’t you glad the Mayans were wrong and the world did not end on December 21st? If it had, all that Christmas shopping would have been for nothing! Speaking of Christmas, I hope your Christmas holidays were wonderful. It is nice to take a break from the routines of life to enjoy family and friends. The break allows us to be refreshed and rekindled so we can return to the routines of life with a renewed sense of strength and purpose.
In a few days we will step over the threshold of a new year. It always amazes me how quickly a year passes and yet when you reflect back on a year, how much can be packed into 365 days. Here we stand on the doorstep of a new beginning. That’s what a new year is really all about, a new beginning. We will pledge to do better in the new year but slowly, as the year rolls by, we slip back into familiar routines.
I read a few years back that it takes us 30 days to start a good habit and about that long to break bad ones. That means that we have to consistently do something for 30 days in order to make it a part of our daily lives. That’s why by mid-February most people have given up on their new year’s pledges. We have to persist if we really want to see some positive changes in our lives.
We all have good and bad habits. We all do things that we shouldn’t and we don’t do enough things that we should. In order to lose a bad habit we have to replace it with a good one. Our minds crave repetitive behavior whether it is good or bad for us. The trick is finding a way to reward ourselves for doing the things that are good for us. We like pleasure and good feelings, the trouble is that the “good” things are often unpleasant to us… like diet and exercise…yuck!
If we want to see some positive changes in our lives we are going to have to create good habits in our lives and then reward ourselves as we make progress. Another thing that can help us in the process of making a good change is imagining ourselves successfully making the change. If we can see ourselves accomplishing the changes we desire, it can help motivate us to achieve the desired change.
My question for you is: Where do you see yourself spiritually a year from now or even five years from now? Do you imagine yourself doing the same things you are right now spiritually? If we want a closer walk with God, and most of us do, then we have to grow spiritually. Growth is a process and we have to imagine ourselves growing closer to God and doing the things that will build a better spiritual life.
If we can imagine our spiritual growth then we need to add faith to the mix. Faith can motivate us to press into God, to deepen our spiritual roots. We’re not going to grow if we don’t pray. So we must seek God because He promises that if we seek him then we will find him. Spiritual growth usually requires that we go through difficult times, and there is no better place to be when times are tough than close to God. I am not suggesting that God is the author of difficult times, but he will perfect our faith through them.
No one wants to imagine problems for themselves, but I don’t think it is wrong to imagine ourselves leading a victorious Christian life. We have to believe that God will help us overcome. He will work with us and through us to help us overcome, but we have to be willing to work with him. Our faith must combine with his power to achieve victory and that is done through grace. I believe that each of us is called to overcome, to rise up in faith and power, to see ourselves living and fulfilling our God-given purpose.
I want to encourage you to imagine yourself walking with God as you live your daily life. Believe that he is with you and will help you overcome to lead a victorious Christian life. 2013 has the possibility of becoming a great year in your spiritual growth. If God wants you to grow and you want to grow…then you should grow. Imagining where you can be has the power to fuel your growth. I imagine 2013 is going to be a good year and through faith I believe it will be!
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org