Pressing forward to excellence…

“This is the Year , the year of new beginnings. Your highest good will come your way and it’s going to be perfect. This will be your best year ever” — These are some of the words we tell ourselves or are conveyed to us via messages/texts from friends and family and the same words are repeated 360 days later. It seems as if on December 31, we hit refresh on the ‘chase-for-perfect-life’ button and the cycle continues.

We want to have it all — The ability to eat everything and not get fat, mounds of happiness and no worries, to be our best and have a life full of accomplishments. Except, no one lives that kind of life. Of course, the drive for perfectionism makes us push our boundaries and achieve more but during the process we end up living an unhappy life.

If you are a planner like me, you would know that you want to be in charge of your life and want to do things your way, which will be the ‘right way’. You are not satisfied by your accomplishments as much as you want to be and want to do more, which often leaves you overwhelmed and stressed out. I have found that the lists and plans we make are a way to assure our anxious minds that we are in control. But we all know that life is not planned. Life is what happens to us and at some point we have to adjust our minds and habits to suit the circumstances.

As the dust settles on this New Year day and everything goes back to normal once again, I want to challenge myself that in spite of my plans and to-do lists, there is a higher plan and purpose for my life that I cannot see and have no control over. Whether you are a planner or want to accept life as it comes, we are called to seek first His kingdom and righteousness.

I want to quote my favorite Bible verse here, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” Psalms 138:8. Does that mean, I should just relax and stop making goals? Certainly not. I will continue to make lists and plans, but will also need to make sure my plans are aligned with God’s word and in obedience to the Holy Spirit knowing fully well that He is in control. And, perhaps aim for more excellence than perfection.

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14.