With fireworks and champagne or sparkling grape juice (depending on your preference) my guess is you ushered in 2013 with a celebration. The obligatory kiss caught on camera in New York City, the ball dropping, the “Happy New Year'” heard around the world – they all come in with pops and bangs, with excited anticipation.
And now, it’s New Years Day – the beginning of 2013. Undoubtedly social media sites, newspapers, and the blogosphere have already begun to inundate you with messages on what you want this year to mean, what goals you may have, what movies you should watch for.
Some of these messages may be meaningful: some may urge you to pick a word for the year – let’s say it’s gratitude, and live out that word; others might encourage you to set spiritual, vocational, physical goals.
But I’m not going to do that.
I’m going to give you one question by which to make decisions. If I was really holy, I would give you something about God and I hope you all know how much I love Him….but no, I’m giving you a different question, one that has served me well for years.
Who do you want to like you when you’re eighty?
In bold italics I write it.
It’s a serious question this one. Who, really, do you want to like you when you’re eighty?
Your boss? Your work? Your book club? Your colleagues? Your hairdresser?
Make the list. Make it twice. And before you make a decision, particularly about work, ask yourself who you want to like you when you’re eighty. There are several times where I’ve come to a crossroad in my life, a point where work and home seem to conflict with each other, where work wants to crowd out that which is important to me. And though I pray and seek guidance sometimes it’s the practical question that gives the greatest clarity.
The choice sometimes feels unfairly weighted. On the one side is money, affirmation, yearly raises, a well-crafted resume. On the other, depending on the year, it can feel like doing needle point – taking painstaking care to get the stitches right, but knowing I won’t see the full picture, the results of the careful stitching, for a long time.
But in all of this, asking this question has never failed me.
And with that I’ll sign off and wish you a New Year filled with blessing, filled with Grace for what comes, filled with knowing more about this God who is “completely trustworthy and utterly unpredictable.”
And those of you who are older “of a more mature age” – What question would you encourage us to ask ourselves? Please share through comments!