I know I’m set to speak with the focus of wrapping up what’s happened this year this upcoming December.
But it’s still technically November here so I want to say, I am thankful for November, just as I was for last month.
I find it important for me to say this because, the last quarter of this year isn’t quite the same, compared to my Q4s of 2021, 2020, and so forth. See, Q4 is when I’d usually feel pressured. Pressured about doing so much more to make the entire year count. Pressured to do stuff to say that the entire year was productive. Pressured to combat my sheer disappointment at how the previous months went by.
There’s significantly less of that pressure now. Less of the fear that tenses me up, flaring with energy that doesn’t go anywhere. No, it’s Peace that’s dominant. Peace that I don’t care to understand, but to trust. Peace that relaxes me, but allows me to flow.
Thank you, November.
What has different about this year? I could only think of two things: (1) Being more involved and intentional in my (that’s right, my own) ministry, The Good News Aces, and (2) writing so I cover 1000 words a day for every day of the year.
I spoke more, and I wrote more. Now, I do regret not doing more of the other side of the coin. Would’ve been excellent if I also listened more, and read more. But that’ll probably be something for 2023. Or hey, maybe sooner than I think. I’m probably going ahead of myself – I just ordered a ton of books online; and not like e-books, but printed books – books I’m more likely to sit down and actually read. I’m also looking at listening to the messages of my co-pastors to develop a collective message to end this year, and also for an idea of what to share at the start of the next year. Heck, just minutes ago I drove enough to finish an entire podcast between Andrew Schulz and Jordan Peterson.
But going back – I’m amazed that I could say all of this, at this end of November. JB of the previous years would call this day a cut-off, like this would technically be the end of this year because it’d be all parties and winding down for the holidays from then on out. I also remember on at least one year I greeted everyone Happy New Year on the first day of December.
But again, it’s still technically November… so.
A while back I was thinking about what I could have be doing differently recently. I think it was around October that I started feeling a different surge of energy. Besides that much-needed recharge I had from getting away from most things and people that one weekend mid-October, I’m not sure if there was anything else. I mean, I’ve been working out since September, so it couldn’t have been just that. And really, it could have been as I assumed – a change in a habit, or a new habit… or, it could have just been a one-time realization that made the difference.
But maybe I shouldn’t be so fixated on that. In the light of all my recent claims of having to call upon the name of the Lord for help, and immediate help, I’d have to say that from another viewpoint I’d welcome this current form of discomfort. I mean, I’d rather have this feeling of regret mingled with an actual realization, compared to how hopelessly anxious I felt during this time in the previous years – I tell you, high energy and anxiety are never a good combination. No, as of today I still have something going on, I still have some bounce in my step; this compared to how it was back then, when I would be mentally torn apart between wanting to relax, and wanting to rectify things, if not start them and end them before the year ends.
So it’s not like everything is fine and dandy… more like me finding it pleasant that everything isn’t going to shit.
Ah, what am I saying.
It was my original intention to finish my 365,000 words before embarking on a project of assessment, burning through each and every article to proofread them ruthlessly, to see what points I actually had to share to the world, minus all the fluff. Now that I’m thinking about it it’s a way for me to realize what percentage of all the words I’ve churned out actually added value, versus how much was just BS filler. I’m actually looking forward to doing this.
I’m still going to do it AFTER I fill in all of the slots of this year… but I couldn’t help but feel like doing some sort of year-end evaluation, starting today.
Hell, you’ve already seen me do it. Like I said, I spoke more, and I wrote more, and I’m happy to have done it. Keeping Francis Bacon’s quote in mind, by speaking more, I’ve developed myself to become more ready with my words, and with writing, I’ve become more precise and clarified with my words, even if, like I said, I acknowledge that a good chunk of what I write is filler.
Maybe there are a couple of early New Year’s Resolutions, to implement starting tomorrow – not only to speak more, but to speak with more value and less beating around the bush. Less covering for time, and more making value. And not only to write more, but to write with more value, and less filler; less ‘very’, less meaningless and useless adjectives. Less compound sentences to sound less pretentious. More straightforward sentences to ensure whoever cares to read what I have to share, gets what I have to say with the smallest amount of words possible… and in the process of writing with more value, I may write less, which gives me more space to build on even heavier, deeper thoughts and topics.
So less is more, for more. If that makes any sense.
And like I said, I haven’t been listening to people as much as I think I should have. I haven’t been reading words; I should have read more is what I’m trying to say. But maybe that’s why I’m to add more value in speaking and writing – to spend less time, so I have more time to read and listen.
This reminds me of what I strongly believe is an underlying part of being: I am a channel through which anything can flow. By speaking and writing more, I not only showcase where else I could flow, but I ensure that I flow on a regular basis. Yet it’s in the process of flowing, as I have been doing this year, that I find out where I lack, and what needs to change, in order to flow, providing more value with less effort.
During the first Worship Service of the year I told the congregation that this year, 2022, would be a year where we would be overwhelmed. I told them that we would go about doing this by coming together to behold God’s love, grace, and peace. I don’t think we deviated a whole lot from that overall theme, or at least until I reached Q3, when we were supposed to be talking about peace; we sort of did, but not necessarily as direct as I claim to have demonstrated with the topics of love and grace.
On a personal note, however, I think I’ve been true to my word of getting overwhelmed, and staying overwhelmed. I say this because I believe I have been overflowing – or, to be precise, I’ve been consistent in flowing, anyway. So many times this year I’ve forced myself to write and speak, acknowledging the circumstances I’ve been in, but sitting down to type anyway / stepping up to the pulpit anyway, fully aware of the risk of blowing it. But it all didn’t matter, because I still found a reason to flow… and it wasn’t out of necessity, more than it was because of the deeper Truth alive in me, which continued to overwhelm me. One common reminder I was constantly told was of Christ’s faithfulness to me, even in rock bottom – and we may not think much of it now, but man, was it overwhelming in the darkness.
I mean, I could look at all that’s been talked about, all that’s been going on this year, and even considering my feeble attempts at clarifying myself in the previous years (again, with the themes of ‘Villain’ and ‘Novus Ordo Aeternum’)… and it’ll all boil down to a Truth that I know is timeless and endures – That our Savior, our Helper, Jesus Christ – He is truly faithful, even when we are faithless.
I can easily that this Truth – which I have seen more in this recent days as truly universal and absolute – had its hand in amazing me, and overwhelming me this year – much to the point that I flow.
And flow, I shall. This year, I’ve seen the value of consistent flowing. I intend to capitalize on this further by being intentional with quality over quantity, as we continue to flow next year. Flow, as we close this year, and as we welcome 2023.
Cheers. And Happy New Year!