Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 20, 2013

twenty-one days

Twenty-one days have now come and gone in the new year.  Resolutions that were ripe with anticipation just three short weeks ago are now wrought with reality; were my commitments based on wishful thinking or deeply held values?  For most of us, the answer is probably somewhere in between those two extremes. But the truth remains that after twenty-one days we all have a decision to make. Will this year be different, or will the diet go from chicken and fish to hamburgers and fries?  Will our exercise program go from rigorous to I’ll do it tomorrow? Will our personal and professional goals be achieved this year?  If so, we must keep going!  As I look at my decisions after twenty-one days, I am convinced that this year can be different, but it won’t be easy.  My goal in this post is simple; from the heart of a fellow struggler, I want you to be encouraged.

During the last week, I have been knee-deep in my reading of Genesis. There is much I could write about while viewing the lives of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac, but I have sensed that maybe a picture from my twenty-one days could resonate with your journey.  One of the commitments that I made at the beginning of January was to slow down, and live life at a different pace. I have actually tried to quantify what slowing down means to me.  In my past, words like being type A, or having a driven personality could be a badge of honor.  In viewing my journey now, I want to live as I perceive Christ would have walked this earth — busy, but always ready to listen and never in a hurry.  But trying to live this way is causing me to reflect on how much I trust Him vs. how much I want to control my life.

Last week, I was in Florida working with a friend.  We were intensely working on some issues, and I had the grand notion to make a point with him about slowing down.  At that moment, I was thinking about him slowing down, not me.  IMG953309On his property there is a twenty acre pasture, and I suggested that we should take a break and head out to enjoy the wide open spaces.  We started walking and I met a goat named Pedro, ate cane juice (new experience), fed three horses, dodged some cow pies and eventually ended up in the midst of about 20 sheep and a donkey.  My friend slowed down, but so did the mastermind of my plot.  We had worked together many times before while looking at that pasture, but never had taken the time to slow down and enjoy it.  Why?  Because with ill-conceived thinking, we find it easier to drive ourselves, and try to control life.

In meditating on the pasture experience, and trying to slow down personally, professionally and spiritually, my battle has been with trust.  By slowing down, will I hurt my business?  Taking time to work out, walk in a pasture, and listen without being in a hurry all contradict my emotional instincts of building my business.  Do I believe He is in control? Do I believe that if I work at His pace (slower than mine), that He can make up the difference?   So, if I really feel slowing down is a value that my Lord approves, then can I trust Him?  The answer is yes…yes…yes!  My choice is, will I?

My purpose with a personal illustration just twenty-one days into the new year is for your encouragement. You, like me may have some strong valued commitments that are easier recited than completed.   If you believe the Father is pleased with your desires, then trust Him (even when you want to quit), and keep going just one more day, and then one more … I know there will be days that I revert to the fast and furious, and that you struggle with your commitments, but by His grace, this year will be different.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: