End Of Year Struggles
There comes a time when the night gets dark and becomes even darker and darker, without so much as a small glimpse of a possible sunrise. This may happen after a year of excellent progress, with things going exactly, or at least close to, the way you want it. Granted there a few slip ups here and there, but for the most part the path you walk could not be smoother. Children doing great at school, business grows from scratch to a glorious display of success, very few obstacles appear and those that do are minor and easy to deal with until, the unexpected happens: a storm. Suddenly extended family members are struck with a possible terminal illness, all the creditors you forgot about and were hoping to keep avoiding all arrive at your doorstep, you get a call from the university with a threat of student expulsion for failure of fee payments while your other child seems to be nonchalant about anything and everything regardless of its severity. You lay in your bed with eyes up to the ceiling, with hands clenched tight, breath held in, stomach tucked, body tensed hard, then eyes shut the same way and in the next few seconds you want to just explode!
A False Light
You are left wondering if the light at the end of the tunnel will get any bigger. Forget that, if it even exists at all in the first place! You almost want to subject yourself to the idea of the light feeling like centuries to get to, as better than not being there at all. You are crazy enough to believe that it is the more tolerable and logical notion. You are in December, in the year of revelation and declaration and you have been promised a double deliverance and yet all you experience is the exact opposite! You wonder if you are seeing things. If this is a dream. Maybe you blacked-out. You are unconscious. Or you somehow daydreamed and at any moment this is all going to go away. I mean, at a time where you should be resting, you find yourself fighting!
The New Year Jitters
I have heard about this “January disease” nonsense. I don’t believe it because my birthday is in January. All wonderful cool new stuff happens in January. Why a disease? I have heard it is where people go so crazy about Christmas that all their life savings goes into as many gifts and events as possible, to the point where extremely little to nothing is left in January. I still find it weird that people’s lack of self-control becomes a social phenomenon. This just adds to the battle. The way you leave a year is the same way you enter the next. That means regardless of what your resolutions may be-something that should be done at the end of November or beginning of December-will not matter because you have the same problems you were hoping to be solved, following you into the next year. No wonder a lovely, beautiful brand new year, welcomed to us by a brand new day-to some people-does not feel that way at all!
Discipline by Control of Emotions
Whenever you are in a high state of emotion your level of logic depletes tremendously. That is why fear, anxiety, anger, depression, resentment, regret among others are emotions that must not be carried in December. This month is a time of rest and nothing should take that away, however, should anything unexpected happen, you have but one choice: fight. You do it from the inside out. Guard your emotions, then guard your heart (Proverbs 4:21). Only with a mind that is at ease can wisdom reign (Romans 12:2; Phil 4:8). After you calm yourself, take action. Laziness and procrastination are no excuses. They must be put very far from you as is the case, interaction with those who inhabit such qualities. Strictly ensure that no distractions prevent you from achieving your rest. Do not stop until it is obtained. Do whatever it takes to make sure you do not enter your year without at least a small idea of practical solutions to dust off the path you are to walk.
Cognitive Impact: Learning To Think Critically
I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” where he focuses on teaching and encouraging readers to understand that brief pieces of information, required to deduce any situation-as long as all the necessary elements are gathered-can be used to make vital decisions. All this without considering possibilities of any error occurring or anticipating any sort of danger with the decision made or at the very least, thought about. Then looking at Michael R LeGault’s “Think!” that strategy is completely nullified with the tactic of learning to take time to consider all possibilities, weigh all your options and gain as much info as possible before making your decision. Take note of these few things I found important as you formulate your battle plan:
a) Faulty thinking is the result of two distinct but interwoven factors: The inability to think critically and a lack of will to think clearly. Meaning people prefer to accept what they feel they cannot change because they do not have the desire to find the means to do so.
b) Quoting Vincent Ryan Rugerio, 3 things are needed to think critically:
i) Find the evidence
ii) Find out what the evidence means
iii) Make a conclusion about the evidence
For me thinking critically is about having an open mind that is partially closed, meaning that I embrace the possibility of some of my beliefs having a fallacy to them or new info that contradicts some of my beliefs as a likelihood of that truth. On the other hand I research more of that info in order to confirm the theories so that nothing is ever taken at face value but at the same time nothing is ever fully embraced, in a dogmatic manner until proven.
I believe this kind of thinking will help with the tough problems that we may carry into the new year, as solutions that are written down and double-checked, at least four times, help us start the year with a decent level of comfort.
Claiming Your Rest
Peace is something we deceive ourselves into believing is the absence of war or conflict. Peace is in fact not an experience we hope for, but a prize we fight for. Two years ago I wrote about what it took to gain that peace and as we conclude this year, it will have to be done with the discipline, desire and determination to obtain it. Patience (Gal 5:22-23) is a partner that plays her part. If you do your best to work with her, then Wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-6) will be able to show you the right direction to make absolute certain that you finish it. Take note, this path is not an easy one to walk, but is very crucial in allowing you to welcome the new year in the same way it welcomes you because it is vital that no stone is left unturned. It may mean doing the dirty work. I mean really getting down to it. Even if it means:
-Restoring an intimate relationship
-Forgiving a friend, family member, both immediate and extended, a stranger, coworker or boss (Phil 2:3-4; Matt 5:16)
-Clearing debt/s (always remember to repay the debt of love [Romans 8:13])
-Fulfilling a promise you made, even if it was a while ago
-Checking how many goals were achieved and how many are left, even those from a few years ago
-Fulfilling a pledge
-Making sure as many things as possible meet the budget or starting a budget if one does not exist
-Staying committed where you signed up to do so (Proverbs 3:27-28; Gal 6:9)
-Paying all workers & employees or discussing a reasonable payment plan if that is not possible (Col 3:22-25, 4:1; Rom 4:4; Lev 19:13; 1 Tim 5:18). .
Get it done or at least half done and complete it in the new year. Be faithful to the best of your abilities and imitate your Father in that matter (Deut 7:9; 2 Tim 2:13). He is faithful to complete the good work He begun in you (Phil 1:6). You can still get your double salvation, double revelation, double completion, double perfection, and double deliverance. It is not over yet! Do not lose hope (Rom 4:18; Jer 29:11; Isa 54:17; Rom 8:36). You can achieve your rest!