This is it - the last issue of the year. If all goes according to plan, we are headed to our last sheep show of the year, the New Years Nationals in Oklahoma.
We are not where we want to be with our sheep. As much as we tried, our sheep just didn’t get the amount of exercise time we would have liked. But we are still excited to go!
One of the things livestock has taught me or maybe the people I have surrounded myself with have taught me is goals. Our goals are to continue to focus on where we are at and learn and improve.
Coming from a background of all or nothing, there is so much wisdom and knowledge to be gained when my eyes are focusing on the here and now and the steps I need to take. My daughter has learned this too. Our goals are not the same as yours.
The goals of this final show of the year is to finish what we started, to learn something, to get in the ring to continue to improve her showmanship skills, to be with family, make a new friend, and have fun. And hopefully not place last. This show happens to have a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Sheep and basketball! Not sure she could ask for more.
So taking a page from our sheep showing playbook, I am looking at my life and goals for the new year in the same light. Over the holidays I found a few things didn’t go as planned. My health took a small hit probably due to stress.
Then the day before we were set to leave, several of our plans went south. But in the middle of all these inconveniences, I saw a video that reminded me that God is not in our lives so everything will go perfectly according to our plans. In fact, he is often in the inconveniences.
I had a large list of things to accomplish before we headed out of town. A gentleman stopped in the office and we ended up visiting for longer than I planned.
While I could have said that I was busy, I didn’t. And the conversation turned to God and it was obvious this is where I was meant to be.
I had another opportunity for an inconvenience later and yes, God was there too.
Remember the movie Field of Dreams when the doc leaves the baseball game to help a child choking?
He had dreams for himself but in the end he chose to help someone instead of fulfilling his dream.
I think of the story of the Good Samaritan. If I recall correctly, the priests and the rabbis all walked by the man laying on the side of the road beaten. It was only the Good Samaritan that stopped to help.
Maybe they were on their way to something important? Maybe they were busy with something else?
Since I wasn’t there I don’t know. But I wonder how many inconvenient God moments we miss while we are hurrying with our plans.
As I look toward 2023 and my plans and my goals, I pray I see the inconveniences as part of God’s plan.
In a perfect world, I get to run a half marathon, write books, and my family and friends are happy, healthy, and strong. And I help people.
But maybe that is backwards. Maybe it should be God let me help someone even if it keeps me from my goals and dreams.
Now I believe God is big and believes in bold prayers so I will ask to help others and fulfill my dreams. Let my cup runneth over.
But, in the end, my heart will be satisfied if I am following Him.
Zach Williams sings,
“Oh, I have days I lose the fight
Try my best but just don’t get it right
Where I talk a talk that I don’t walk
And miss the moments right before my eyes
… Somebody with a hurt that I could have helped
Somebody with a hand that I could have held
When I just can’t see past myself
Lord, help me be
… A little more like mercy, a little more like grace
A little more like kindness, goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience, a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me.”
Happy New Year!
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