2013 has been a year of rebuilding here at Midnight Oil. I’ve largely been out of pocket in the trenches, and plan to relaunch with more gusto in 2014. That Said, 2013 has been a year full of valuable lessons. Here are 7 things I’ve learned in 2013:
1.) If you sow enough seeds, and you tend to them over a long enough period of time, you will eventually see them grow. Sometimes in huge ways. Fight the urge to give up, and you just may see your God-sized dreams come true.
2.) While there are some downsides to loyalty, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Loyalty can lead to pain, let down, and other unsavory things, but it can also create great/unexpected partnerships, reward, continual/repeating opportunities, as well as new opportunities.
3.) Opportunity is everywhere. Not every opportunity is a good fit. Be yourself and the right things will take hold.
4.) Never say never (or allow yourself to think it). Amazing things have happened in the last year that I could have never fathomed; things I would have thought impossible. Don’t limit God’s possibilities for your mission, ministry and life.
5.) Friendship cannot be earned; it can only be given. Trying to earn it will only drive you nuts. You can’t earn someone’s acceptance through any number of well intended acts/words/favors etc.
6.) Be open to contingencies. Sometimes we get locked into one idea of how things should play out. I’m learning that if you don’t force your will on a situation/opportunity, it can evolve into something equally good, but different than what you originally imagined.
7.) Don’t stop visioning! There will always be more to learn, but you can get to a place where it feels like you’ve built everything and the work is basically done. When you turn on the autopilot, let things coast, don’t pay quite as much attention to where you’re headed, you lose more than you think. This fall I’ve been teaching a lot more, doing more consulting, and mentoring around the use of metaphor in worship. Articulating that vision, refining it, and looking at it through new eyes has me feeling more excited than I have in a long time. When you stop visioning, your leadership dulls, and those who look to you for inspiration also lose something along the way.
I hope 2013 has been a year that has made you better as well.