Many of us are striving for the next step, or the breakthrough in our lives. Although achievement is a great thing, we must guard ourselves from missing out on what is most important. I recently watched a movie called “Soul”. My 12-year-old son had it in his sights several weeks before it was available to watch, and he made sure we didn’t miss it.
I thought it had an interesting name, so I was not at all opposed to making it a part of our movie night. The movie itself was not as expected, but I thought a message behind it was very meaningful. In my understanding of the movie, the main character had become bored with his current career and thought he was not making a difference in the lives of those around him. Fortunately, by the end of the movie he realized that true happiness was not in his personal achievements, but in how he spent each moment of his life. He learned to acknowledge the joy in getting to know the people in his life more intimately that he had known for years, but never took the time to know anything about them. He also noticed how he had missed out on enjoying some of the simple pleasures of life that requires no money, or line to wait in for the experience.
I like achieving goals, but I have experienced enough disappointments to know that my goals and God’s timing does not always agree. The book of James says it well: “Come now, you say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit’. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow…Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (James 4:13-15). From this I gather, it is best for us to seek God’s will in all areas of our lives because only He knows the future.
So, what is God’s will? Only He knows, and He reveals it to whomever He choose. While waiting for Him to do so, should we not focus on His present will which is evident in the acknowledgement and in finding joy in the blessings that are currently before us. Therefore, God’s will for us is to stay connected to Him. One of the primary ways to do that is through prayer and praise of His continuous goodness. The Apostle Paul sums it up saying: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thes 5:16-18).
Setting goals and making a New Year’s resolution is good for us. It is healthy for us to want to grow and achieve, but it is far more important to avoid missing out on the blessings and goodness right before us. The COVID-19 season has interrupted many of our plans and has hindered many of our goals, but God is always in control, and He is always present, along with all His goodness, grace, and mercy. “In His presence is fullness of joy” (paraphrase of Psalm 16:11). May God’s blessings, goodness, encouragement be acknowledged by us throughout this New Year and those to come.
Happy New Year!