My one and only New Year’s resolution is to write a blog post today. Call me a party pooper (you wouldn’t be the first), but I don’t make resolutions anymore. I find I already have an impossible list of expectations for my life—no sense adding a fresh layer every January 1.
I’ve thought a lot about expectations during this midlife run. I did not really expect (see, there’s one) that God’s plan for my life would look so drastically different than anything I had planned. I did not expect to spend so much of my forty-something energy coming to grips with shattered expectations. I did not expect to have to let go of so many dreams, so I certainly did not expect that reshaping them would be just as hard as letting them go.
Unfortunately, letting go of expectations or dreams isn’t a single step: “Great! That one’s taken care of…what’s next?” Letting go is a thousand steps, day after day. It is the journey of discipleship. In biblical language, we’d call it “dying to self.” Day in, day out, getting out of bed and deciding to follow God down whatever path He has placed before us that day, and going wherever it leads…which, in my humble experience, is usually not where I thought it would go. It is taking one little step at a time, and then taking the next one—a bit like that famous tortoise. Slow, steady, faithful. I take my share of missteps and back steps, but I pray that when I reach the end—whenever that is—God will say, “Well done. It wasn’t what you expected, but you did it for Me. One step at a time.”
So on this first day of 2016, my goal is the same as it was last year and the year before: To go steady on.
*See also “Ferns and Funky Moss: A Lesson in Journeys and Destinations“