Pastor’s Newsletter Article – January 2019

You’ve made it. You’ve arrived.

Some of you never thought you’d make it to 2019, but you did. Great job! You can celebrate!

Even though it’s a new year full of opportunities, I’m not going to mention resolutions. I’ve done that way too many times in the past.

Most people never keep their resolutions. If you made it through last year keeping the resolutions you made, you are one of the few. Most people don’t even make it past January with unbroken resolutions.

So, I’m not going to suggest getting the old exercise bike out, purchasing a new gym membership, or throwing out all the food you love but know isn’t good for you. I’m not going to give you a reading plan or encourage you to learn a new skill or hobby. No. Those are actions of resolutions.

Instead, I’m going to encourage you to ask a question. It’s a simple question, but you’ll have to pay attention.

I remember one person quipping, “I can’t afford to pay attention.” Some of us may feel that way. With all the things vying for our attention we may believe we simply can’t pay attention. Not really. But what we pay attention to determines more of our lives than what we might believe.

We are formed by what we focus on and what we pay attention to.

When I pay attention to social media, I may become envious, jealous, or dissatisfied with my life. Research suggests we can even become depressed. If I focus my attention on what’s wrong with my neighbors, my city, my church, and all that isn’t right with the world and my life, I may become cynical. If I focus on what I don’t have, I may become ungrateful and unappreciative and miss the joy coming from gratitude.

If I don’t pay attention to what I pay attention to, well, it’s hard telling where I will end up.

So, I’m not suggesting resolutions. Instead, I’m inviting you to pay attention to what you pay attention to. What has your focus? What has your attention? But those questions aren’t THE question I want you to ask in 2019. Those questions are questions of discovery and realization. Instead, I hope you will ask a question of transformation.

The question I’m encouraging you to ask yourself is, “God, what do YOU want me to pay attention to?”  You may find some insight from Paul in Philippians 4 (I’ll let you look that up yourself). Make sure to pay attention to what he says!

So, no resolutions this year. Instead, a question that just might transform your year and life.