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My New Year’s Carpe Diem Pep-Talk

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My New Year’s Carpe Diem Pep-Talk

As I watch the ball drop every New Year’s Eve on television, I usually have one of two reactions. If it’s been a good year, I tend to be really sentimental and a bit resistant to the idea that the old year is over.

In 2012, Holly and I welcomed Caleb into the world and I took my first full-time job. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye that year. The same went for 2009, a year when I graduated college, moved back to Dallas, took my first ministry job, and married Holly in a matter of just two weeks.

But then there are years like 2006, the year I finished a horrible freshman year in college and learned some really painful life lessons. That year couldn’t have ended fast enough.

As we finish out this year, it has been an exciting one but also a really tough one. Holly and I bought our first home, I started this blog, and a number of other amazing things happened that I can’t even mention here. But this was also the year in which I was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and an anxiety disorder, leading to a serious crisis of confidence. I think it was a well-fought chapter in my life that I’m more than ready to close.

The Bigger Realization

Over the last few years, New Years has reminded me that time is going a lot faster than it used to. In 2014, Caleb will turn two-years-old while Holly and I celebrate our 5th anniversary. Both our wedding and Caleb’s birth feel like they happened yesterday. Next year, I’ll attend my 10-year high school reunion. (Seriously.) It occurred to me that the way things are moving, it won’t be long before we are walking Caleb into his kindergarten classroom or even looking at colleges. (I almost just had aneurism thinking about that.)

But here is the real kicker – I am now much closer to 30 than I am to 20. I am about as healthy as it gets. I got the flu last week and my body managed to fight it without even running a fever. I was painting our bathroom two days after being diagnosed with a disease that puts most people on their backs for a week. I know my body won’t always be this strong, nor my energy levels this high. There is so much I can do now that I won’t be able to do in 10 or 20 years. Beyond that, I’m not even guaranteed tomorrow, much less 10 years from now.

Stand Up in 2014

So what’s my point? Make 2014 a year to act. I read and hear so much about how twenty-somethings are constantly stuck in life, unable to make decisions and scared of committing to things. We have more dreams than we do plans. The unfortunate part of that is this is likely the healthiest decade of our lives and we are squandering it by dreaming instead of acting.

Choose to do something this year. Have you always wanted to serve overseas in a missions or evangelism project? Go do it. Stop talking about all the things you need to do to make it happen or what you’re waiting on. Pick up the phone, make the call, attend the meeting, send out the fundraising letters, and get on the plane!

Guys – are you dating that girl but scared to commit? Either she is the type of woman you could marry and partner with in a life of serving Christ or not. Stop stringing her along and decide what you’re going to do.

Wanting to start a new career or go back to school? Then just do it!

Here’s what I’ve discovered this year – the majority of the things I want to do but haven’t done are simply waiting on me to act. I am the obstacle to the unfinished or unplanned dreams God has given me. My guess is that it’s probably the case for you too.

So forget the New Year’s resolutions and set some goals for 2014. What has God placed on your heart but you haven’t acted on yet? What needs to happen to make those things a reality? Pray about them, put together a plan, and execute it. Decide now that as the ball drops next year, you’ll have finished those things. Don’t waste another year by dreaming. It’ll be hard work and it may not turn out well but it sure beats wondering what could have been and leaving your faith untested.

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