This time of the year tends to focus our minds on the future, but as I approach my ‘three score and 10’ I find myself becoming increasingly mindful of my mortality.
So, waking up this morning with the cheery reminder by a prominent medic on radio voicing the notion that our bodies are not designed to last as long as they do nowadays didn’t help. He reckons that 40 years is written into our design plan. I’m not sure I want to agree with him, but when I wound up my iPad and downloaded my ‘verse for the day’, kindly emailed to me daily by BibleGateway.com, I felt distinctly challenged, for here it was: ‘... teach us the brevity of life, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ Psalm 90:12.
Maybe somebody’s trying to tell me something!
Then I got email from an old friend and I thought I might pass on some of his encouragements: ‘As we reach out into 2015 ... be the giant killer, the champion, the overcomer and conqueror God wants you to be.’
So here goes: God has a greater plan for your life than you could ever imagine. Refuse to accept the limits others try and place on you.
Fail? Of course you will fail, but if you can see failure as another opportunity to start again on the road to fulfilment, then you will climb your mountain, swim your ocean, or run your race of life with distinction.
Make every moment in life count, for in each moment you can be the person God wants you to be. The only difference between a loser and a winner is that though they both fall, the winner gets up again and again, the loser walks away.
Many lives are filled with ‘If only’s’: If only I’d loved more; if only I’d worked harder; if only I’d had a better education ... So make a fresh start today, not tomorrow. Quit telling God how big your adversaries are: show them how big your God is!
Statistics suggest that of all those who make New Year resolutions, only three per cent are still committed to their goal after a month, but whatever that goal, don’t give up just because you have fallen at the first or second hurdle. Retrace your steps, reconsider what it was that encouraged you to make that decision, and then recommit.
Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb, but we’re told that after something like 10,000 attempts his assistant urged him to stop trying: ‘It’s impossible, you’ll never do it!’ And Edison replied: ‘What? We have just discovered 10,000 combinations that don’t work! Think how near we are to success!’
The thought I want to carry through, not just 2015, but until the end of my days is this: the defining difference between those who succeed in achieving their goals and those who do not is neither intellect nor chance. It is persistence. I think it was Zig Ziglar who described it thus: ‘Success is one per cent inspiration, and 99 per cent perspiration.’
Therefore, my plea and my prayer for my family, my friends and my readers in the years ahead is this: take advice, by all means take advice, but make sure that whatever decision you make, make it yours, for then and only then can you own it.
I sincerely wish you a peaceful, prosperous and a fulfilled New Year.