Accidental Living

I’ve had a few car accidents in my day and in every one I’ve suffered whiplash.  Other than the one that was my fault, they were unpreventable. The fact is, you can drive as carefully as possible, obey every rule of the road, and still end up an accident, because, well, they are accidents. In many of them, I was a victim.

But how many of us follow any kind of rule for life? We go about our days, we do what we need to do and react to people and events around us.  Sometimes those things are not preventable: cancer, death, losing a job.  Being a victim through all of life however doesn’t get us very far, does it?

Many companies have a mission and vision and goals. They use these things to evaluate where they invest time, money and resources (i.e. people). This can help a company be focused and hopefully, successful.

It hit me a few months back that I was not being proactive about my life. I was kind of reacting and not really getting anywhere. Now, I’m not a January 1, New Year’s Resolution kind of gal.  This past year I did choose a word for my year: Change. I had anticipated some major life events. Some happened (I lost thirty pounds and kept it off all year!), and others didn’t (we were supposed to move but didn’t and lost the house we had an offer on).

I had sat down to refocus my ministry goals and re-wrote all of them and really liked how they gave us direction and a sense of greater purpose.  Then it hit me: why not do that with my own life?  I wrote up a passion statement – a one or two sentences that describe the core of who I am. Then I followed it up with what I intended to do to live that out, each item having specific goals. I put this at the front of my journal so I could refer to it often.

So when opportunities come, I can evaluate them in terms of this passion and purpose statement. (mission and vision seems a bit odd for a personal thing). If I am going to commit to something, does that fit with my own stated purposes? If not, is it worth doing? For instance, I could be working on a novel right now, but my heart’s passion for ministry calls me to do the harder work of writing my non-fiction book and pursuing that with a bit more focus. The fiction will get its turn, but the non-fiction is more in line with my passion and purpose.

You don’t have to wait until January 1st to re-evaluate your life and put it on a more focused track. Being a victim of life however will leave you stuck at the at the starting gate. Can I suggest you pray about this and then put pen to paper and give it a try? When you are done, share it with a safe person – and then follow it as your road map into the future. If you sometimes feel like a victim of accidental circumstances, this can be the airbag and safety belt that keeps you from totally crashing and you may even feel empowered to reach higher than you thought possible for the dreams God has placed in your heart.

The dreams I have now are different than they were a few years ago because I’ve grown and changed and become aware of new strengths and a more refined calling of God in my life. New Year’s Resolution? Bah Humbug! Resolute and Intentional Living? Now that I can cheer for.

Blessings,

LGB

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