At the turn of every New Year, I do two things.
First, I step back to prayerfully consider:
- What might God want us/me to do in 2015?
- What are the 5-6 measureable goals He is inviting us/me to focus on in 2015? Which is the most important? The second most important? Etc.
Secondly, I remember Tertullian’s (160-220 AD) keen insight on patience:
- Tertullian writes: “Impatience is, as it were, the original sin in the eyes of the Lord. For, to put it in a nutshell, every sin is to be traced back to impatience. I find the origin of impatience in the Devil himself.” In a brilliant essay entitled “Of Patience,” he expounds on a truth we rarely talk about – i.e. God’s nature to be patient.
- “When the Spirit of God descends,” he writes, “Patience is His inseparable companion. If we fail to welcome it along with the Spirit, will the latter remain within us at all times? As a matter of fact, I rather think the Spirit would not remain at all.”
Discernment of God’s direction in the clarifying of goals keeps me moving in the right direction. Tertullian’s exhortation on patience keeps me anchored in peace and joy since the realization of goals almost always take much longer than I expect.