Happy New Year!
A new year. That sounds so good, right? Promising. On the calendar we have a starting point, a fresh start, a clean slate. But as much as we would like to think that flipping the calendar from December 31st to January 1st is like wiping a dry erase board clean, it is not.
As challenging as 2020 was, with it ups and downs, it created negative patterns and habits. But 2020 also created some positive outcomes, such as refreshing personal and family rhythms, cling to those. Don’t let those newly found wins escape you. Pencil them in, type them into your calendar to keep them.
I believe that the habits fostered in 2020, especially some of the bad ones, have the potential to derail us for life. 2020 has created ruts in our thinking and our actions, that if we are not careful, will plague us forever, limiting living a good and Godly life.
Have you ever driven down a muddy road that has ruts? The kind that pull you in, and don't let you out without a fight? A predetermined path that takes will and skill to drive out of. Ruts of fear, anger, fighting, complaining and bitterness were forged in 2020. We have to be careful not to live in those ruts.
The more time we spend in them, the deeper and more controlling they become. Bad habits, “ruts,” are created by two main things: stress and boredom. 2020 was a petri dish for the creation and growth of negative thinking patterns, forsaking spiritual disciplines, and self-destructive patterns, for many people. Think of things you look for when you grocery shop…..'oh, I’m just going to check to see if they have toilet paper or some hand sanitizer…just in case.' See, ruts stick, don’t they?
So what’s next? Get out of the ruts, don't stay there for 2021. Take some time, ask some trusted friends if you created ruts with negative thinking patterns, poor spiritual disciplines and/or self destructive patterns.
The best way to fight a bad habit is to replace it.
Replace fear with hope.
Replace hate with love.
Replace complaining with gratitude.
Replace apathy with action.
Replace bitterness with forgiveness.
It will not be easy. It will take effort. But it will be worth it.
Who do you want to be in 5 years? In 10 years? What you think about today will be who you become in the future. I encourage you to identify and fight the ruts that 2020 caused. God has bigger and better plans for us than living in the ruts.
Cling to the wins in 2020 - Pull away from the ruts.