Every January, much of the world goes through the same exercise – we reflect on the past year and resolve to do better in the new year. It’s a time of reflection and introspection, which some take very seriously while others go through the routine only to forget about their resolutions within a few days. Sometimes we may wonder if this is a useless exercise: should we continue to do this every year, or should we just not think about it and just go through the year and take what comes?
I happen to be one of those who believe this is a very important and vital exercise. I equate it to building a house. You would never haphazardly build a house without concrete plans. Each new year is like a new house, we should plan for what we want to build. I take it seriously and it has borne fruit for me over the years and has made a difference in my success. So, what are the keys that I use to prepare for a successful new year? I will give it to you in three simple words – pursue, maximize, fulfill.
Let’s begin with pursue. To have a successful year, I believe, begins with finding your purpose and pursuing it. If you do not know why you are here, then you tend to live aimlessly, but if you know your purpose, it gives you focus and direction for your life. The first key is to discover your purpose and begin your pursuit. The disciples once asked Jesus a question when he had stepped aside to pray and they could not find him, and rather than apologizing for them not being able to find him, he replied, “Let us go to the next city because for this purpose I came into this world.” Rather than get into a conversation about why they couldn’t find him, he went directly to purpose. When Jesus was on earth, he was focused on his purpose and it kept him through all of the challenges, questions, distractions and allowed him to fulfill his mission.
The Bible says in the book of Hebrews, “For the Joy that was before him he endured the cross.” He saw his purpose and the joy it would bring, and it caused him to stand firm even in the face of death. If we can discover our purpose, we can make it through the challenges of 2020. Remember, your purpose comes from your creator and he gives you purpose indicators through your design, gifts, talents, abilities and passion. Usain Bolt was born to run and he discovered his purpose, which propelled him to the apex of his gift. What has God given you that you are supposed to share with the world? Remember this, recognition of purpose guides your actions and activities. Find your arena. The lion and the shark are both hunters, but a lion cannot hunt in the sea and the shark cannot hunt in the jungle. As long as they find their arena they can succeed.
What should you maximize in 2020? Maximize your potential. The word potent means power. Potential unused is the power within you that you never unleash. Every seed has a forest built in but unless it is planted it never releases its potential. We are all like seeds, possessing untold potential that remains dormant unless we maximize what we have been given. Dr. Myles Munroe made a statement that has been quoted numerous times around the world. He said we should “die empty”. This means that whatever you have been given you should develop and release to the world rather than take it with you to the grave. Spend 2020 developing your gifts and talents and releasing them to the world for your benefit first and then the benefit of others. The Bible tells us that your gift makes room for you…
Your gift will take you places – but if you never maximize your potential you may never see where God has planned to take you. I recall a conversation I had with Dr. Munroe where he stated, “Dave, if you refine your gift, people will call for you around the world.” This statement proved to be a reality as I was able to do just what he stated and it took me to places like Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. My refined gift brought me to places I would have not seen otherwise in 2020, make sure you maximize your potential. Make the commitment to refine your gift. In life there are only two parts, your part and God’s part. You cannot do His and he will not do yours. Make the commitment to do your part. If he gave you a voice, use it to sing. If he gave you the ability to run, get on the track. There is nothing more disappointing than unused potential.
Fulfill your destiny. There is a place you were destined to be, but you could end up on a detour and not get there. The story of the Prodigal Son is one of destiny derailed by bad decisions and eventually recovered. The Prodigal Son came to the realization that he did not belong with swine. He did not belong feeding pigs, it was not his destiny. He eventually made his way back to where he belonged. When you discover your purpose and maximize your potential, you will get to your destiny. If you never discover your purpose, your life loses value and you can become aimless. God did not make any of us to end up in jail or skid row. Our failure to discover purpose and maximize potential, results in distractions that derail our destiny and, in some cases, costs the individual their life.
Time is a very precious commodity, time wasted can never be recovered. We can spend time, waste time, abuse time or we can invest time or redeem time. When you are on your way to your destiny it means that you will invest your time to increase your value and redeem your time to benefit yourself and others. A dream written down becomes a goal, a goal broken down into steps becomes a plan, a plan acted upon becomes reality. Remember that life is a marathon and not a sprint. You may not figure it out all at once but if you have a dream you have something to pursue that can be accomplished over time.
Remember that success is a combination of knowledge and action. Nothing changes if knowledge is not followed by action. Do not be like the young man who was arrested and placed in a cell and he scrawled on the wall, “I was here.” You are more than “I was here”. You are here for a reason. Life is full of obstacles, hurdles, battles, opportunities, defeats and victories. Sometimes you are on the hill, and sometimes you are in the valley. When you are on the hill, celebrate the view; when you are in the valley, celebrate the chance to climb the hill again. Make 2020 your year of purpose, potential and destiny.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.