Gosh, isn’t it crazy to think it’s 2019. Happy new year to you dear person reading this. There’s been so many thoughts running and racing in my mind in the past few days. It’s interesting how sometimes the people who are perceived as quiet and calm, can have the most wild and colourful minds. 2018 was truly a year of incredible growth, feeling at home, spending time with loved ones, meeting beautiful human beings and having such amazing experiences.
When I was thinking about the words new years resolutions, I thought about how important it is to set goals. However, I didn’t want to limit myself in telling myself that I have to give myself a year to achieve this and that. But, rather to just concentrate on each day, and how I can fulfill my goals with the steps that I can take today. Truly embracing the present moment gives us true joy. When we have gratitude completely in our hearts for this very moment, we appreciate what we have in this moment right now.
Sometimes in my heart, the fears run from my imagination. Because most of the time our worries don’t happen. I have to remember I’m only human, and God loves me wholeheartedly. We are all walking on our own paths, we grow through our failures and improve towards success. I’m someone who fears conflict and friction with people. I can be anxious when I’m unable to plan something, and that’s why I truly want the words: embrace, faith, be present and unpredictability to really sink in this year. To embrace unpredictability in life.
One of the thoughts on my mind has been Social Media, Digital Detox and Phone Hiatus. I truly want to take less time on Social Media and my Phone this year in terms of posting on Facebook or Instagram. Although I only use Facebook with family and some close friends, I realised that I actually rarely post on there, because I usually use Messenger to send photos to them. Whereas, I feel that last year I posted more on Instagram, even though there were also many people I didn’t know or know well. It made me reflect on where I put my focus and time is so precious.
It made me also ask myself, why are there certain things I need to share and at times I also felt that it can cause a lack of embracing the present moment. But, really I think with lots of things, it’s how we use it. It made me have moments where it affected my mental health. That’s why I feel that where we place our time is essential in the life we create for ourselves. It also made me critical of myself in terms of my appearance, and I feel that shouldn’t be important.
Everything has its good and bad. Sometimes Social Media can become incredibly surfaced level and we lose the true core of a person, and other times it can be a wonderful way to connect with people and share what we like. I still enjoy using it from time to time, but limiting the time and balancing it with everyday enjoyments of reading, walking, playing music or whatever it may be, can make us focus on living in the present moment.
The sermon above greatly touches on the topic of fear. He talks about how fear can be a positive force to prepare us, but it can also overwhelm and paralyze us. He also touches on privacy on the internet and social media, which is one of the huge reasons I feel on and off with social media. He talks about how fear can cause us to feel that we never have enough, it causes distrust, and that it can fracture solidarity and compassion. Fear creates an ‘us’ and ‘them’. It drives us inwards, hardens our hearts and stunts our imaginations.
It’s such a powerful talk. Embracing unpredictability in life means that fear cannot take control. At times, it can be difficult, because I know that if I really don’t know what’s going to happen in this or that, I feel anxiety creeping in. But, it’s those times our faith is truly tested. We have to stay strong and stay grounded. The division in the world is all rooted from fear. When he said God is present in a personal and ongoing way in our lives, that’s what reminds me of how fear often comes from the fear of the past and the future. It’s created in our mind, but it’s not a reality.
God wants us to live and soak in this very present moment. We can choose to love those around us now, rather than waiting and having thoughts of I’ll really love them or accept them once they do this or that. Just as He loves us in this very moment now regardless of our past. I really hope wherever you are in your life, that we can together face our fears this year, embrace unpredictability in life, achieve our goals and face more amazing new experiences.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Art by Annya Marttinen