Fast forward to December 31, 2013.
What will you have said or done this year?
What stories will you be telling New Year’s Eve, gathered ’round the table of your friends or family, laughing about the year and where it’s taken you? Stories of hope, fearlessness, and exploration? Or stories of repetition, redundancy, and minimal risk?
We get one 2013. What will you do this year?
Here’s 13 goals I have for the year as well as mantras to shape my attitude, perspective, and behaviors:
1) Roadtrip out to Colorado with family (friends welcome too!) and experience the power and freedom of the open road.
2) After road tripping, compete in the Boulder 70.3 half ironman. But don’t just swim, pedal and run. Make those 70.3 mile of pain cathartic. Throughout the race, relinquish your people-pleasing ways of stale Christianity and religious dogma. With each stroke, pedal, and stride, eagerly welcome in the spirit of God… the one that casts out fear… the one that offers freedom… that speaks of a bigger world with a place at the table for everyone…
3. Develop my sense of humor. Make jokes even if they don’t end up being funny. Laugh at other people’s jokes, even if they aren’t funny.
“The best thing you ever did for me was to help me take my life less seriously…. it’s only life after all…. “
4. Regularly look up at the sky… while walking, while running, while on the front porch sipping green tea… and marvel at the beauty we are surrounded with each day.
5. Surrender my “need” for “why.” Surrender the desire to know how everything will turn out, as if to dismiss the bigness of God’s ability to use all things for good. Demanding a “why” for the happenings of life takes away from the adventure. Because Helen Keller was right. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
6. Go to the river with some friends on your 26th birthday. Find some rocks and write your regrets on the rocks with a Sharpie— the things you thought you would have done by now (Peace Corps, grad school….)- the way it was “supposed” to turn out– and toss ’em in the water. Sink them. Skip them. Throw them like a shotput. But however you choose to do it, let the shame, disappointment, and fear of the future go with the rocks you’ve now let go of. Now take some rocks, write all the things you’re grateful for having done these past few years, your hopes, your dreams, and let them go too. Because you’ll find them. Out there. In the open road. Just waiting for you again. You need only to go…
7. Take (at least) one vocational risk: apply for grad school, reach out to a publisher, connect with Sports for Development and Peace organizations.
8. Plant strawberries in the backyard this spring and water my tomato plant every day in effort to grow more than the 5 dinky cherry tomatoes I grew last year.
9. “This too will shape me.”
In Drops Like Stars, Rob Bell challenges readers with the following charge:
“We will become bitter or better,
closed or open,
more ignorant or more aware.
We will become more or less tuned in to the thousands upon thousands of gifts
we are surrounded with every single moment of every single day. This too will shape me.
The only question left is, how?”
10. “Create.” Create things regularly. Art. Beauty. Laughter. Photography. Peace. Create things that once didn’t exist and are now better for having experienced or shared them.
11. “Just say yes.” When my anxiety tries to get me to say “no” out of fear—– “Just say yes.”
12. “Just begin.” You have ideas in your head. Don’t get too caught up in how to get to the final picture. Just. Begin.
13. Love life. Be brave. Play harder. Forever and ever. Amen.
Now I know why you laugh at my jokes.
Hahahah. No. Yours are truly funny. Promise. Not everyone can tell funny stories about life post-Evangelicism like you.
Well thanks. Unfortunately, I’ve had a good bit of practice.