I had the privilege this Christmas, for the first time, of visiting Disneyland with my husband and kids. Thanks to my grandmother’s generosity we were able to go on a dream trip to welcome in the New Year in Paris.
I have to say, I’m not sure who was more excited, me or the boys, and definitely once we were inside the park it was me marveling at every last detail and crying when I saw the Dream Castle lit up for Christmas.
I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with Disney, and its creator, Walt Disney fascinates me. What struck me most while walking around a park, which is to the letter the exact specifications that Walt dreamed up back in 1948, was how his vision had not only been maintained but communicated and preserved.
Going into the New Year, nearly all of us will draw up a list of goals, resolutions and plans to see us through to 2016. For some of us it could be about being healthy, for others a new focus or drive. For me, having gone through another year failing at all my resolutions, I decided to write a list of all the things I want to ‘be’ – not to ‘do’. So instead of ‘lose weight’ I’m aiming for ‘being more healthy’ this year. I’m also hoping to be ‘known as an encourager’ and to ‘be even more generous’.
But to get there I need not just an idea, but a vision.
There’s an old expression that says, ‘if you can’t see what you can’t see, you’ll never see it.’ I believe that. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have had good intentions and failed to see them through. Unlike resolutions though, vision is about imparting faith into the equation. It’s about saying, ‘what could my life be like if I included God in my plans?’ And ‘how much more could I ‘be’ if I tried to see my life through God’s eyes?’
Part of our vision at Activate is that across this nation a company of women would rise up and take their place as evangelists – good news bringers – in every home, street, village, town and city across the land. Not through shouting or by picking an issue to campaign against, but by living out a true faith in Christ as a great friend to many.
It’s a simple plan but honestly, we won’t get there by accident. What’s required is for us to catch a hold of that vision and become intentional.
Why not budget to allow you to ‘have friends round for coffee’?
Or set a goal of joining and remaining in a group, class or club in order to make new friends who don’t yet know Jesus?
Or how about organising a meal for after your church Easter service, so you can invite those you’ve invited to church to come back to your home?
You could also combine goals. Join a gym and increase your health as well as making new friends?
How about starting a group for people who share your interests or who have been through similar challenges to you? Or if you’re anything like me, and love a good film, why not organise to go to the cinema once a month and then hang out for a drink afterwards?
Verse seven of Psalm 6 says: ‘My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.’
Could I just leave you with one encouragement today? Maybe you are someone who is full of faith and hope for the new year, but if you, like many of us, have been worn down through the stuff of life and the vision you once had has gone, then can we encourage you to dream again for your life in Christ?
You are God’s chosen vessel to pour out his love and mercy to a world so in need of a saviour. Whatever season of life you are, wherever you are, whoever you are… this is YOUR time. Go on, Activate Your Life in 2015!