Many of us celebrated Independence Day with family and friends with food, fun and at the end of the night…FIREWORKS.
While we enjoy all the festivities, most would agree that the fireworks are the highlight. When I was younger, I was afraid to light firecrackers. I was pretty content with my little sparkler and waved it around happily, which was good because I wasn’t mature enough to be trusted with much more. My cousins, on the other hand, were pretty fearless and went for the bigger bang. Me, I stood at a safe distance watching everyone else and enjoying the benefits of their risk.
How about you? Are you still waving a sparkler? Do you have your goals tucked away in the back of your mind because life has gotten in the way? Do you change plans or act as if those other goals didn’t exist, or try to convince yourself that it’s not the right time to light the fuse? In my case, as I got older I continued my version of the “sparkler” lifestyle, fearfully avoiding opportunities to step out and light the fuse that could either produce a beautiful display or blow up in my face.
As a guest attending a bridal or baby shower, it’s not unusual to be curious about who’ll be next to send out the invites. Based on status, guests may have an idea…or no clue at all. However, a person attending a birthday or graduation party doesn’t have the same questions of when. Those guests have no doubt when their time will come. We all have a birth date (right?!) and we know whether we’ve been putting in work that will result in graduation, or rising to the next level.
But what about the other promotions that aren’t so obvious to compare? We may each reach a milestone age, but that’s not an accurate measure of maturity. How do we assess and celebrate growth? How would we commemorate that we’ve entered a new season? For instance, do we throw a party to say we aren’t as selfish as we once were?
How does the guest at the business launch party gauge when they may be ready to celebrate the shift from fear of success into entrepreneurship? It’s nice to dress up and go to parties. However, I’m more satisfied by time spent making strides toward my goals and realizing my dreams. And I find inspiration by celebrating others who are doing the same.
Where are you today? Do you pass through each year, lighting no more than the candles on your cake? In recent years, I decided to stop simply gaining years and collecting candles. Even when I wasn’t finishing everything on my annual vision plan, I kept drafting them. Each year, I had more completed than the prior year. What about you? Have you given up on goal setting? Or, did you start this year with goals that eventually fell by the wayside because they were too inconvenient?
Allow Monday’s fireworks to act as your halftime whistle. Decide that by the time the ball drops and fireworks sound to signify the beginning of 2017, you will have a new skill or accomplishment under your belt. Get a mentor to help light the fuse that will illuminate the path to your future. Begin to plan your guest of honor appearance. God willing, you’ll see another year. Have a party for what you’ve done with it!
Here’s some inspiration for us both:
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14 The Message
I’d love to celebrate with you. Let me know what you’re working on in the comments and I’ll cheer you on! In the meantime, I wish you a future so bright that you light up the sky.
Thank you Pastor Howell!