December truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I particularly like the time between Christmas and New Years. For B2B businesses like ours, the last week of the year allows us to merge into the slow lane along with customers more focused on PTO hours than IPO dollars. While I admittedly use some of this time to plan for the new business year, I use most of it to do some serious soul searching. To ponder the year soon to pass and the one to soon be grasped. Had I known then what I know now, what would I have done differently? What do I need to know now in order to squeeze every drop of destiny out of the coming year?
This month, in anticipation of my most wonderful week of the year, my mind went to goal-setting and my memory went back almost fifty years ago to Mt. Tabor Elementary School in New Albany, Indiana. Before my young basketball career came to an inauspicious end, I looked forward to getting a new pair of Converse All-Star tennis shoes at the start of the season. Oh how I loved those shoes! Back then, they only came in white, but I recently bought myself a too cool for school pair of red Converse high-tops. And, the memories came flooding in…
…we were playing our crosstown rival when suddenly I found myself in possession of the ball. I’m not sure if I actually stole it or if the opposing player accidently passed it to me. Either way, I was absolutely sure of what I needed to do next. So, I shifted my All-Star peds into overdrive and headed to the rack. As my one shining moment unfolded, I could hear the roar of the crowd and see my name headlining the sports page in the New Albany Tribune. No doubt, the fans were thinking the same thing I was –HE…COULD…GO…ALL…THE…WRONG WAY! Yes sports fans, this Mt. Tabor Tiger ran as fast as he could and jumped as high as he could in a misguided, albeit heroic, effort to reach the opposing team’s goal.
Little wonder why not long thereafter, I traded in my beloved shoes on a pair of Speedos, preferring the cold, wet and chlorinated life of a swimmer to that of a directionally challenged basketball player. That proved to be a great move, one that continues to this day. Swimming remains my primary form of exercise. Lord willing, I’m determined to continuously swim my age in minutes until I trade in Carmel’s Monon Center pool on a true infinity model with an eternal warranty.
What about you? What are you hoping to find at the end of the earthly portion of your spiritual journey? In doing your own soul searching this time of year, how certain are you about the goals you’re striving for? As I once was, could you possibly be running fast and jumping high towards the wrong goals…ones that at the end of your days won’t matter any more than my one not-so-shining moment on the hardwood?
Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, this is a great time of year to consider a course correction. If you’ve yet to pass through Bethlehem on your way to Calvary, I commend that leg of the journey to you. From the Christmas manger (Luke 2) to the Good Friday cross (Matthew 27) to Easter’s empty tomb (John 20), Jesus of Nazareth did more to change the world than anyone who ever lived. That’s why His story, as told in the Bible, is so much a part of our history. And, that’s why intellectually honest seekers have sought to understand it for over two millennia.
Beyond the Bible, there have been countless books written about the historical Jesus and what it means to have a relationship with Him. One at the top of my reading list is, Since Nobody’s Perfect . . . How Good Is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley. Should you choose to take the Bethlehem to Calvary trek, throw this book in your backpack. It will serve you well as an easy-to-read trail map.
All to say, happy trails to you and yours in 2016. I truly hope our paths cross, as together we run fast and jump high towards the right goals. I can hear the crowd now –HE…COULD…GO…ALL…THE…WAY! And I believe they’re absolutely right…again.