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More hopeful than a resolution

Recalibrate. Somehow the word feels more hopeful, more full of potential, more intentional, less prone to shame and guilt… than “New Year’s Resolutions.”

Recalibrate speaks to my desire to receive grace by admitting, “I tried that but it didn’t work too well. I’ll try something else instead.”

I admire my brother for many reasons, not the least of which is his ability to set goals … and then accomplish them. Decades ago, as a young professional, he lived in Sausalito and worked in downtown San Francisco. Most days he ferried to work.

He told me about a day that refocused his life. It was long before laptops. In those days he filled his briefcase with carefully chosen important papers for the day’s work, no clutter – that’s simply not his style. He opened the notebook that contained his day’s goals. After reviewing all projects and appointments, he flipped over to his One Year, Five Year and Ten Year goals. And he suddenly realized none of his days’ activities led to his long-term goals.

And this is what I love about his story. When the ferry docked, my brother stayed on and rode back to Sausalito. He determined if his short-term goals had nothing to do with his long-term goals, his day would be better spent doing something else.

I thought of this story as I took another stab at setting a renewed focus this morning, January 1, 2019.

Vase of flowers and calendar

I turned to Proverbs for wisdom. Does it have anything to say about my desire to recalibrate? Not surprisingly, yes, it does:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

- Proverbs 3:6

Start my days with God. Listen as He speaks to me about my year and about my days.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

- Proverbs 16:3

Then take His hand and start moving.

I reflect on a recently read quote by Craig Dykstra and Dorothy Bass:

“We long to see our lives whole and to know that they matter.

We wonder whether our many activities ever come together in a way of life

that is good for ourselves and others. Are we really living in right relationship

to other people, to the created world, and to God?”

This season with my extended family gathered caused me to line up my quiet life beside their busy ones and ask myself if I’m doing enough and doing it well. I think it’s a good question, a worthy one to consider. A question like this takes some time to ponder. Some Sitting Still time.

Ruth Haley Barton says:

“On retreat we stop avoiding the pain of the disconnect between our deepest desires

and the way we are actually living. We have time and space to reflect on our life rhythms

to see if they are really working.”

I’m never sorry when I accept God’s invitation to Sit Still. And I’m always richly rewarded when I occasionally take extra time to “Come away,” the way He calls me to an extended retreat.

Pull up a chair and sit still

Wood table with an open journal

Is God inviting you to quietly recalibrate your days with His wisdom? Perhaps He is even calling you to come away and see the “disconnect between your deepest desires and the way you are actually living.”

Please consider joining us on January 14th for “A Taste of Stillness” at New Hope Eugene

and our upcoming “Dare to Be Still” retreat on February 23 - 24 in Mt. Angel.

A little recalibration might be just what your soul craves.

You can easily register for both by clicking here:

A Taste of Stillness

Dare to Be Still

(Space is limited to 20, so I encourage you to register soon.)


Thanks for sitting still with me today.

Email me your thoughts or pop in to say "hi."  

I'd love to hear from you!

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