Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's Go Exploring

One of my favorite childhood comic strips was Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes. You're probably familiar with the imaginative and wily little boy and his stuffed tiger. When Watterson decided to retire, this was the final Calvin and Hobbes strip to appear in papers on December 31, 1995.

A few years ago, I decided that setting New Year's Resolutions every year wasn't working. (They rarely do). Instead, I resolved to live a good story each year. 

Setting goals simply doesn't make much sense without the overarching narrative to each year. Those goals need to be set within the context of a narrative journey, a story arc, a chapter in an epic tale known as "my life." When those goals are pursued in the context of story, they begin to make more sense and lead to all sorts of exciting rabbit trails in the narrative. One of my personal values is to live a great story:
Live my story as part of God’s Story. Develop my character. Choose difficult paths intentionally; take the harder-but-better path. Seek obstacles to overcome. Reject any activity or practice that won’t lead to a better story. Look at each season as a chapter in a greater story God is telling in and through me.
Last year around this time, I wrote down some of the plot points I wanted to include in the story of 2012:

1. Write a book and get it published.
2. Be on a school campus at least 3 times per month.
3. Unplug from technology one day a week.
4. Go hiking once a month in 2012.

Some of those plot points happened (writing a book, being on a school campus). Some didn't (the technology one was, sadly, quite difficult to achieve). Some significant ones appeared that I could have never seen coming (moving to a new country, writing two books to be published).

This new year is like a landscape covered in freshly fallen snow. A big blank sheet to draw on, full of possibility and wonder. It's a story unwritten, a new chapter waiting to be told, with the Divine Author and his grace-filled pen at the ready.

It's a magical world. Let's go exploring.

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