The New Year is approaching accompanied by a review of the past 365 days, a sigh of relief, and resolutions for the next decade. People everywhere are reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly ushered in by 2019.
What really mattered…what brought joy…what left a scar…and what still bleeds.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and for years, I journaled. I’d jot down a brief account of the day, describing any triumphs and trials coupled with a prayer request and a praise. But after filling my journal with the suffering I experienced throughout my every day – I resigned to my chronic illness and made the tough decision to stop.
My physical condition makes it very difficult to socialize. Which, in itself, doesn’t bother me. But not serving the community the way I once did and feeling like I was a horrible friend brought an abundance of shame. Writing about all of this grew depressing.
Now I make every effort to declutter my mind and focus on my blessings. I won’t lie and say it’s easy. But I’ve been blessed with two amazing children who have been incredibly graceful as they watch they mom become disabled.
They’ve picked up more chores both in and out of the home. But more than that, they brighten my day with playfulness and laughter. With my limitations, they constantly cheer me on and their positivity cuts through the noise of my sorrow.
Looking at them, reminds me a lot of when my brother and I were kids.
Growing up my brother loved to play basketball. Despite not being that great at it, he always seemed to make the winning shot. It had nothing to do with skill and everything to do with his attitude.
We had a hoop in the backyard, where he’d spend hours. He’d dribble the ball, take a few steps back, look up at the net and shout “It’s down for the count! He shoots … and three, two, one…”
And if by chance he’d miss – he’d just dribble the ball, take a few steps back and yell out again and again…Until finally he could scream, “He scores! Ladies and gentleman he’s does it again… and the home team wins the game!”
It didn’t matter if he was outside for hours. My brother refused to take the loss. He wouldn't come into the house until he made the winning shot and brought home the title.
My brother has also been fascinated by Japanese culture for as long as I can remember. Bruce Lee, Godzilla and anime made lasting impressions on him. Along with an old Japanese proverb,"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
It's no wonder he wouldn't accept anything less than victory!
2020 is around the corner, pressuring many people to set New Year’s resolutions. According to U.S. News & World Report, about 80 percent will lose their resolve by mid-February. If we’re not careful, we’ll allow failure to keep us down.
I may not journal anymore but I do still find comfort in Scripture. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 says that “Death has been swallowed up in victory; thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The truth is failure is inevitable but defeat is purely optional.
You can reject the loss.
Life makes it easy to focus on our shortcomings. The next time things don’t turn out the way you hoped, you fall short of a goal, or your darkest days seem to consume the bright ones - remind yourself that staying down is a choice. The battle is won.
Here’s to winning in the New Year!
Let’s discuss this:
· How would you describe 2019?
· What are your resolutions for the New Year?
· How can you keep a winning attitude?
· Why 80 Percent of New Year's Resolutions Fail, U.S. News & World Report
· Get Out of the Pit, Beth Moore