“Saying no will actually create time, one of the most valuable resources we have been given by God. And with this extra time I have painfully carved out, I can then start to say yes to purposeful living.”
At the end of a busy year I hear so many of my friends say, “I cannot believe how fast time goes by. Another year gone.” We measure the passage of time by many things. An aging face in the mirror, how fast our children are growing up, or the added inches to an expanding waste. But I think whether you are aware of it or not, the real measure of time is the things that you remember about a past year. If when you look back over your year and all you can remember is a blur of hectic, out-of-control busyness, then you will have a feeling of lose and helplessness over the relentless speed of time passing you by.
There is a way to slow time down. I have had years that fly by and there is nothing marking them in my memory. I will never get those years back. And then I have had years that are rich with purpose. Every day counted for something. The year was full of challenges, and pain of personal growth and I can remember like they where yesterday.
Here’s the rub. You have heard it said, “no pain, no gain.” It’s true, but I can do you one better. No Pain, no purpose. And I am determined that 2016, will be filled with so much purpose, that this coming New Years I will not be saying, “Where did all the time go?” but instead, “I cannot believe how much I got accomplished. In the 2017 New Year, I want to look back on 2016 with memories rich with accomplishment, instead of the need to purge from a year of overeating and selfish waste of time.
How will I do that? By facing the pain of saying no so I can create the space to say yes to the things that really matter.
In 2016 I will say no social media and turn off my phone during creative/prayerful times. No to TV and music so I can create a meditative space to connect with God. No to late night cravings and go to bed hungry. No to laziness and hit the gym when I don’t feel like it. No to the desire to crack that second beer when one is enough. No to going out on the weekend and instead stay home and write. No to friends and family when I know I am just running from the fear of solitude.
Make no mistake, this will all cause me real pain. Saying no hurts. I find it similar to the pain of fasting, which involves saying no to your body many times a day. But saying no will create time, one of the most valuable resources we have been given by God. And with this extra time I have painfully carved out, I can then start to say yes to purposeful living.