New year, new hope, new resolutions, new goals. New examination. As January hastens to its end, and the commitments of resolutions are already teetering on lost, it is wise to examine what we really want from 2017. Time sails on, and as this first month nears its close, it may be the occasion for some of us to adjust our sails, catch the wind, tack back to center, and navigate more thoughtfully toward our destination. Or change our destination to one that is even better.
Some goals seem to be worthy, even altruistic; but as we near them, we realize their beauty is tarnished. When this is the case, it’s time to lay them aside and recalibrate, aim towards that which is precious and pure and valuable. As I begin to assess 2017 thus far, I find that what is most important is that which draws me toward the two most important commandments in Scripture … quite simply, love God and love people. Jesus clearly stated that to accomplish these two goals would fulfill all the laws and prophets, and satisfy God’s calling on us. So, I have decided my goals must fit into these two purposes. Consider how this might impact your own destinations and goals.
In recent months, we’ve all observed division, intolerance, judgment, and ugliness spewed towards those whose are different, those who disagree on some particular position, whether political or personal. Our society seems more and more comfortable with bullying and demonizing those we don’t agree with. We must make every effort to step away from words and attitudes that are destructive to others, as they are to us. This move should allow us the opportunity to re-set priorities, values and direction. So … I challenge each of us to consider how we can adjust our sails and catch the wind of grace, kindness, love – the character traits we see in Jesus. There is great strength in His character, yet there is always love and reverence expressed to His Father, there is always love, grace, and compassion shown to those He encountered, whether friends, followers, or strangers.
Let us intentionally evaluate our objectives from this perspective, as goals worth accomplishing will never be in competition with God’s Truth. How can I know, revere, and love God better? How can I love my neighbor? I am convinced that truly loving others has little to do with liking them. If we ourselves are recipients of His incredible grace, giving grace to others should be easy. If we do not know His grace, discovering it is certainly the greatest treasure.
My navigation is re-set with the calling of Jesus – love God, love people. Other goals that do not take away from these can certainly be stops along the way, but ultimately, these two simple goals will define my life and my direction. What about you? What are the defining parameters of your life navigation?
As I seek to love Him better, and to love His people (that would be everyone on Earth) better, I move closer to Him, and I am willing and prepared to care for and serve others … in my neighborhood, in my community, and in the world. For me, that’s the beauty of my involvement in TerraMica – opportunities to grow outside my comfort zone and to show tangible expressions of love and care to the global community, all souls who need to see the love and grace of God.
by Pam Apffel
TerraMica, Director of Operations