As I sit to write I decide to reflect on the New Year. I wanted to write about this New Year ahead, new beginnings, another chance to start over, to do better, to grow, to do all things we promised to do last year but never did. But then I realized that in reality, we don’t need this January 1st hard new start to begin again, to have a new start and all the things. Each and every day is a new beginning, a chance to begin again.
Awhile ago I started writing a blog post titled “Success”, but I never completed it. I think it fits in quite well with the beginning of a new year and this beginning again, new every morning.
What is success? What does it truly mean to be successful at our new beginnings?
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be successful. Because often, I feel quite the opposite. Fr. Daniel Lattier’s talk that I wrote about earlier this past summer really impacted me and I think has key components to what it means to be successful in life, from an Orthodox Christian perspective.
I realize that I have a flawed perception of what it means to be successful. My understanding was superficial.
I think if I look back at Fr. Daniel’s message I can see that true success is more about moving through each day with purpose. No matter what it is that we are supposed to do with our lives if we don’t feel we have purpose and if we don’t plan with intention, nothing will be accomplished. Our true aim in life is to learn to stay focused on Christ. And without that focus we are scattered, chaotic, and broken. Success is staying focused on Christ, each and every day. To draw our hearts back to Him when we aimlessly wander away. If I can draw my attention back to Him every day, then I succeed.
Every time I draw towards Him, and “tend & keep the garden of my heart” I begin again and I succeed.
So my first priority needs to be that I “tend & keep the garden of my heart” through the sacraments, prayer, and reading. And to fight to overcome ignorance, forgetfulness, and idleness.
Tend & keep the garden of my heart.
Tend & keep the garden of my body.
Tend & keep the garden of my environment.
These will bring joy and with it an ability to share joy with others.
As this new year starts I aim to bring my focus back on that one thing needful, my Lord and my Christ, more often, and hopefully each & every day.
I do have a few goals this year, that I hope will help me to keep my focus on the right thing. But my only measure for success is to learn to stay focused on Christ.
Blessed New Year to you all! May your focus ever be on Jesus, our peace & joy.