In 2014 Americans will swallow four spiders in their sleep, one in five cell phones will be dropped in the toilet, 19 identity thefts will occur every minute, 40,000 people will seek rabies treatment and 220 million will have a flat tire. So far, I don’t think I’ve swallowed a spider although we still have 11 months to go. To top it off, the Wall Street Journal says most New Year’s resolutions become New Year’s regrets.
The article went on to say don’t waste your money on gym membership, online dating sites (according to Match.com, 64 percent of singles resolve to find love this year), cable TV, mail order clubs or language courses. I have to admit I did sign up for a free month at Snap Fitness but fell short of my goal to go five times weekly.
Since we still have 11 months to go in 2014, how about trying to incorporate these goals for the rest of the year … one, get some rhythm! If your spouse is reading this and asks you to join them for dance lessons, you may have to say yes (I’m not letting my wife read this column). Actually, what I mean is not so much the “two step,” but get some routine going in your life.
You might say I already have routine. I get up at 6 a.m., eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch at noon, go back to work, get off at 5 p.m., eat at 6 p.m., read the paper, watch a little TV and go to bed around 11 p.m. Most everybody has that routine. The routine I’m talking about adding is prayer, Bible Study and worship.
King David in Psalm 5:3 writes, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice…” Other times he writes, “In the evening.” The idea is he made his prayer time a part of his daily routine. Maybe in the morning with that routine Caribou, read a few Bible verses. To finish it all off, find a church to worship at on Sundays! Making God a part of your daily routine may be a good way to make 2014 a better year.
Another idea to make 2014 a better year might be to fix your relationships.
If you have a broken relationship in your life, you will dwell on it often (it may consume your thoughts) and it will make for a lousy year. 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…” If a broken relationship comes to mind, fix it! You’ll feel a lot better if you do.
How about this one … be joyful always! Actually, it’s a Bible verse — 1 Thessalonians 5:16. This is hard to do especially if life has been a bummer lately. My last car repair bill totaled $1,800 and I can tell you I was not very joyful! When the Apostle Paul was in all kinds of trouble he said, “sorrowful, but always rejoicing.”
In the big picture, what do we have to rejoice about? Well, there’s the fact that I have a car and I don’t have to walk when it’s 50 below. I have a great family, church, house, clothes, job, and to top it off, salvation and eternal life! So life’s actually not that bad. Find the good things to rejoice about in 2014 and it will make for a better year.
A couple more … in 2014 manage your money. Maybe this is the year to reel in the credit card debt or pay off those school loans or for some to cut up those credit cards altogether. There’s a word that many Americans struggle with … contentment. It’s a hard word to swallow when there is so much great stuff out there. See if you can live without it for a week before you buy it. Learning to be content might alleviate some money woes!
Finally, learn to be a servant to all. Begin to look for ways to serve others. Help someone with the door, take back an empty shopping cart, help your neighbor shovel some snow, find someone low on cash and buy them a few groceries. I was totally excited to hear the story in the Patriot about the people who came to aid the homeless family living in their van at the Holiday store. Good job people!
Practice these ideas daily to make sure the rest of 2014 is fantastic. Also, make sure you get the spider webs cleaned up in your bedroom!
By the Rev. John McNabb, pastor at Minnetrista Baptist Church in St. Bonifacius.