What Are You Looking Forward To?
Have you ever experienced great feats, you’re happy about reaching goals; and all of a sudden you become frustrated? Oh yes, you may have finally landed that job, bought that car, finalized on that mortgage, started that business, received that far-reaching ministry assignment, landed that multi-million dollar deal or even entered into a promising relationship? Life becomes greater for you; you’re basking in these blessings; then out of the blue; frustration shows up? Why? Could it be that in the midst of driving in current accomplishments, the rut of routine has eased in?
Or, perhaps you are that person who has seen struggle and rejection year after year? Perhaps you are in a semi-comfortable place in your life; bills paid; minimal debt; no extra to take that long-awaited vacation; yet you’ve learned contentment. But suddenly, your contentment becomes rocky. Why? Could it be possible that routine’s friend called rut and struggle’s buddy called pessimism knocked on your door with a note of aggravation? Think about it. How does doing what you’re accustomed to doing and living with contentment turn on you? And, what’s the anecdote?
Contentment shouldn’t negate looking forward to something. I know you might be thinking. “Some people just don’t know how to sit down and relax!” Or you might be thinking. “Some people are just never satisfied. Why can’t they be happy with what they have; or with just being alive and in their right mind?” And you are absolutely right. That’s true for some people. Yet there is nothing wrong with looking forward to the new. Don’t most of us go to bed at night looking forward to waking up the next morning and experiencing God’s new mercies? That’s looking forward to something.
Looking forward wins over looking back anytime. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy each day. As a matter of fact, no matter what situation you are in, it helps to find a way to enjoy the journey and the moments within it. You might be in the most dire situations and find a sliver of joy. That’s wonderful. But looking back is not the key unless you are reflecting upon what God has previously done for you.
Sometimes when you’re going through, it can cause you to long for the good old (bad) days. For instance, my single sister, you might be so tired of being alone until you start thinking about that man who dogged you. You forget about his horrific ways. All you remember is how you felt as a result of the IGAMS (I Got A Man Syndrome). In other words, it didn’t matter how bad he treated you, your fulfillment was in knowing, and letting everybody else know that you had a man. My brother, you might be so tired of being a rolling stone until you start reminiscing about that lady who continuously emasculated you. Your present tiredness causes you to have amnesia and overshadows her demeaning ways. All you remember are the good times. And her place was the one place you could lay your hat without wondering if it would be sold to the man during the wee hours of the morning.
...But sometimes looking back is not so bad. I occasionally read my old journals, and they remind me of how God brought me through so many trials, and I’m yet in my right mind. Praise God!! The writings help me to remember that if God did it before, He will do it again. This form of looking back helps me to look forward. But the primary questions are: “Why should you look forward? And how do you look forward?”
Why look forward?
I recently visited some loved ones; and Belinda, Mindy and I sat at the kitchen table and talked about The Lord and other things. Mindy said, “So what are you all’s plans for next year?” Belinda and I both shared what The Lord placed in our hearts about ministry. Then I said, “So Mindy, what are your plans for next year?” She said something very thought-provoking. She said, “I plan to live!” She gave description on how she plans to live. Wow! Mindy’s determination was so inspiring. I asked her more questions and she explained her why. She talked about the desire for new. I heard fear, frustration, ministry, hope, faith, determination and expectation. To paraphrase, I’ll just say that Mindy plans to break free from the rut of routine, launch into the new and walk where, and in all that God wants her to. My friends, no matter how dismal the circumstances are, looking forward fuels hope, faith, determination, and expectation.
How do you look forward?
- Change your mind-set: Break free from the victim mentality. Replace negativity with positive affirmations. Come against that self-defeating spirit of pessimism that crept in and parked in your heart while you experienced so many disappointments. Start finding small things to thank God for.
- Believe that better is in the horizon: Get your hope back. Start dreaming again. Trust God.
- Purposefully get out of the rut of routine: Do something different. Go to a museum.
- Read: I read an article for persons 50 and older. It gave positives to look forward to. That’s great; especially when you’re at an age when most of your peers are running scared for fear of increasing years. My younger friends read too.
- Be proactive: I received calls today from two gentlemen that I’ve known for years. One is an elder in ministry, and the other is a budding businessman. The elder shared with me how The Lord is using him to walk in purpose. He has an exciting concept that he successfully completed and continues to present to potential clients. He told me how he looks forward to the exciting projects in the works for next year. The other gentleman shared of his equally exciting yet heartwarming project and of the contacts that he’s making to expand his work. The main takeaway for me with both men is that their projects help others. That’s wonderful.
- Press: Paul said in Philippians 3:13 and 14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
What are you looking forward to?
My friends, think about it. What are you looking forward to? If you don’t have anything in mind at this time, pray and ask God to stir you. There’s so much to look forward to. What is it? A better credit score? A closer walk with God? A new outlook on life? A vacation? A completed project? A new car? A new home? Walking in your call from God? New opportunities to serve? Better family relationships? Preparation for being found? Finding the one? Enrolling back into school? Enriched friendships? Spontaneity? Happiness right where you are? What is it?
Thank you for joining me in these Thursday thoughts on New Years Eve 2015. I pray that you have a blessed year in 2016. As for me, I’m holding on to what my pastor is saying to our church and I’m looking forward to: “Shifting into a year of manifestation!”
My last question, to you: “What are you looking forward to? And how do you plan to walk in where God wants you? Join me in conversation. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon.
Originally posted 2015-12-31 20:32:24.