Fewer Plans

At the beginning of a new year it is common to contemplate the previous year and how we measured up. And, in that process make some resolutions for what we want to accomplish in the coming year. This can be a powerful practice, as it is makes us evaluate how conscious we were in our actions and behaviors in the past and make some intentional choices for our future. As I contemplate 2019 and my plans, I have decided to make fewer plans. I am a planner by nature and vocation, so deadlines and goals are close to my heart. However, in my contemplation, I realized that 2018 contained a lot of running toward instead of living in.

One of the inspirations for rethinking my goals for this year came from Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. In Chapter 17, Singer writes “It’s truly a great paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you…While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there’s no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same. The question is, are you going to wait until that last moment to let death be your teacher?...Let’s say you’re living your life without the thought of death and the Angel of death comes to you and says ‘Come, it’s time to go.’ and you say, ‘But no, you’re supposed to give me a warning so I can decide what I want to do with my last week. I’m supposed to get one more week.’ Do you know what death will say to you? ‘My God, I gave you 52 weeks this past year alone. And, look at all the other weeks I’ve given you, why would you need one more? What did you do with all of those?’ If asked that, what are you going to say? How will you answer? I wasn’t paying attention? I didn’t think it mattered?”

So here is 2019 with another 52 weeks--365 new opportunities to make a memory, say thank you, be present, smile, be kind, laugh and love. Mark Nepo expresses this sentiment in his poem Freefall:

If you have one hour of air
And many hours to go,
You must breathe slowly.

If you have one arm’s length
and many things to care for,
You must give freely.

If you have one chance to know God
And many doubts, you must
Set your heart on fire.

We are blessed.

Each day is a chance.
We have two arms.
Fear wastes air.

Kelley Evans

Please join us in reading the Daily Texts :Jeremiah 31:9 and Luke 19:10

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