Happy New Year and welcome to a brand-new decade! I decided to share with you a survival kit for the New Year that I received from a friend several years ago. I think you may find it interesting, perhaps even funny. So, here you go from what I can remember (and my memory is going!).
In a paper bag, put these items: a rubber band, a piece of ribbon, a birthday candle, a broken pencil, and a penny.
The rubber band helps to teach us about flexibility. It also teaches us how to stretch ourselves to experience new adventures and circumstances. But as we know, we can’t over stretch or else the rubber band will break. Learn how to stop before the breaking point.
The piece of ribbon teaches us not to tie ourselves down to other’s opinions or values especially if they don’t correlate with our own values. Learn to be free enough to live with our own set of values, seeking the good.
The birthday candle reminds us to celebrate each day. There is always something good that happens within our day that we can celebrate. It could be a friendly call or visit from a friend, an unexpected note, or a person who buys us a cup of coffee. As my former student always says – “Live every heartbeat!”
The broken pencil tells us that all learning doesn’t come from books. Life has lessons to teach us but we need to be present to the moment we are living in. Awareness is key. It may be as simple as looking in a new way at the same thing we’ve done over and over. Or it might be spending some quiet time so we can hear what God is trying to tell us about our life situations. It is learning to be aware of the world around you. Don’t take things for granted.
And the penny. We are certainly familiar with the saying “a penny for your thoughts.” Someone once said I need to have more conversations instead of lectures. When we are asked for our thoughts, are we able to give them and then listen to the other person? That can be tough as many times we are forming our response instead of listening. Are we able to share our thoughts as well as be concerned about the other person? This can be a real balancing act.
Lastly, let us not forget the bag. If there are some things that are still taking up space in our heads, place them in the bag and then throw it out or blow it up and stomp on it. No need carrying it into the New Year or new decade. If we have some concerns, we can place them in the bag after praying about it and put it in a special place where God can take care of it. Trust him -- he is always there.
Now you have it -- Your Survival Kit for 2020. My guess is that it may come in handy. Again, Happy New Year!
Till next week,