So this is the last day of 2015. So many people reflecting back on the past year and what they felt like they learned and making promises to make changes next year and hopefully planning a better outcome in all areas of life.
Something happened this am that was a perfect ending to my year yet was so simple and profound to me. I was getting my day started and prepping a chai to warm up in the microwave. I normally pour everything into a glass-measuring cup, put it in the microwave, take it out and then that is where the challenges begin. EVERY SINGLE TIME since I have been using this process to make my chai I end up pouring about 1/3 of my warmed drink into the sink instead of my cup because of, what I viewed, as a defect in the lip of the glass container. Today though, I thought to myself, “what if I poured it slower than my usual I-am-in-a-hurry light speed way?” I did and the glass container worked brilliantly!
Now you are thinking, “Wow. That is about 3 minutes of reading this blog that I will never get back” but there are three important end-of-year lessons in this illustration.
1. I was accusing the glass-measuring cup of being defective versus taking responsibility for my pouring action.
As you reflect back on 2015, where there things that happened that you blamed someone or something else instead of considering if it was something YOU were doing? When we have challenges in life, we need to ALWAYS start with our actions and how they may have played into making a situation better or worse. If we don’t, we may be blaming other people or situations on our own mistakes.
2. Pouring my drink slower allowed for the glass container to work properly.
How many times in my relationship with God do I think or maybe even say, “do it in my time and not yours, God.” When we put God in control of our life, we put our life on HIS timetable. When we try and “get” God to do things faster than he wants them done, we either miss the things along the way we are supposed to learn or move on our own inadequate power to get things done in life instead of letting God’s power and ability perfect everything. This new year, stop asking God WHEN is this going to happen and start to say WHAT are you trying to teach me through it.
3. I will now, NEVER use that glass-measuring cup incorrectly again because I saw how well it worked when I did it right.
In life, the best version of yourself comes from learning from mistakes, or being corrected from others in life, including God. When we think everything we do every time is correct and there is no room for error or for an ability to get better at living life, then we will live a very shallow incomplete version of ourselves and far below the ability that God sees in us. Let 2016 be a year of correction. I know that doesn’t sound like a fun objective or something to shoot for. When we realize that life is made up of mistakes then we can focus on the speed of correction in life instead of thinking that a lack of experiencing correction was a successful year. The greatest things you have ever learned in life have probably not come from doing things right but making a mistake, learning from it and appreciating the lesson.
I am praying and believing that this new year is going to be the best one yet and that we all are in a mode of listening and learning even from the most simple things in life. God bless you and have a wonderful 2016!