The beginning of a new year.
It doesn’t really have much intrinsic value or significance. Yet, we look forward to it and celebrate with big countdowns, cheers, and kisses. We reset our mental and emotional clocks and dig deep to find a different will-power to achieve our New Year resolutions. We want to get more fit. We want to be happier. We want to be a better person.
I stopped believing in making New Year resolutions from an early age. It was pointless. The new calendar year did not provide any magical power or motivation to achieve previous resolutions, thus I stopped believing.
However, finding purpose in life, has been a game changer. It works, not only at the start of a new calendar year, but through the mundane rhythms of life. It works on a macro scale, providing framework and direction. It works on a micro scale to provide daily tasks and goals.
I have searched wide and far for the meaning and purpose in life. I will save that full story for another time. But for now, I want to start this new, calendar year of 2021 with documenting my purpose in life.
Participate in creating a new creation.
I want to leave whomever I come in contact with a little more loved,
I want to leave whatever I touch a little more beautiful,
I want to leave wherever I go a little more cleaner,
I want to see a good, new creation.
Participate in healthy living and healthy working.
Participate in loving relationships.
Participate in rich thinking and learning.
Participate in proper reflection and worship.
Participation is key here.
Not everyone may share the same beliefs that I do, but for those who claim to worship and love YHWH, Jesus Christ, Father, Son, and Spirit, for those who submit to biblical authority, for those who don the confusing title of Christian, participation is key.
Understanding the biblical narrative, which thus shapes and overarches our own narratives, invites the people of God to participate in the mission of God. It is not our own mission that we devise ourselves. Often times I have found that I tried mixing secular wisdom of finding one’s own purpose with simply participating in the grand purpose of God. The syncretism of these values express itself in modern, Western Christian teaching as, “finding God’s calling for me.” It sounds holy, but in reality it is simply using the holy name of God masked around our own selfish desires and pursuits.
Participation is key, because it reminds me that life is much bigger than my own little ideas and values. It is easy to drink the Kool-Aid of modern, post-modern life and believe that I am the most important person in the world. If that is true, then I determine my own purpose, not the constricting values of society or archaic philosophy of religion. The Kool-Aid tastes good at first, but at the end of the day, it is made up of artificial sugars and false promises. However much we want to believe that we are autonomous, self-enlightened, rationale beings, we all have been influenced and shaped by values bigger than we can see. What we want to listen to, what we want to shape our lives, is our choice. And that is why participation frees us from the tyranny of both institutional oppression and individual self-fulfillment.
One does not have to look far to see that 2020 into the beginning of 2021 has not been a very good year for most. As much as we have advanced as society, we are still plagued by microscopic viruses that make the strongest leaders and people crumble to their knees. Global and local tension highlight a lack of peace and unity, despite all the movements towards harmony. Our earth is being raped of all its goodness by the very people that depend on her. And while Christianity and Christians have not always been the hero, the narrative that God is writing, the author of life and history, is one where there will be a new creation. And this is not a new purpose, a beautiful, good creation was the intent from the beginning, and will be fulfilled in the time to come. It is this story I want to be a part of, it is the story of God that I want to participate in. And the beauty of participation is that I can still be me, I can bring what little I have and offer it as I simply build along side the ultimate Creator.
This purpose, has shaped my vision, and has given me a particular mission. It is a holistic approach to loving and worshiping God. And with it, I am excited to tackle 2021. I am excited about weekly plans.
I am excited about each day that I can participate in creating a new creation.