I’m surrounded by voices inside and outside of my head. You are too. Sometimes it gets so noisy, the roars of discord make me want to just give up. I bet you’ve felt that way too. These voices just about drown a person who is attempting to doggy paddle to shore, because they can’t seem to get there for the mixture of directions that are circling with shouts. But in the midst of the cacophony, there is a still, small voice that remains, whispering at the helm to steer us in the right direction.
The voices that send our minds spinning go a little something like this:
You can’t do _________________because you’re not smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, popular enough…
You’re not very pretty.
You’re not where you should be by this time in your life.
You don’t matter as much as so and so because _________________.
You shouldn’t keep ____________________ because you’re really an impostor.
It’s too late to start.
You’ll never ____________.
Ouch. Those voices hurt. They leave us feeling quite worthless if we listen for too long. The sense of failure sets in real quick if our ears stay tuned to the harsh buzzing around us.
New Year’s Eve and Day is often a time of reflection and inventory for most of us. But it can also be the most depressing time of year for observation of what went terribly wrong in the past 365 days or what goals were not met.
If you’re like me, you aren’t where you thought you would be by the end of the year. This has been one of the most poignant years to that effect in my life. Probably because the big 3-0 is just around the corner and I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I thought I would by that age. Much of it is beyond my control. And honestly, that makes me feel like a failure at life.
Perhaps you’re struggling with the same emotions right now. Society, your friends, your family, yourself…you all have ideas of where you should be in life by now. And most of those ideals are imposed and superimposed quite vocally upon your life.
But there is a still, small voice that remains. This voice remains not to dictate you or devalue your worth when you don’t reach the goal you or someone else have placed on your days. No, this voice remains to gently whisper behind you, “This is the way, now walk in it.” Listening to the rest of the voices can make a person nothing but aimless. Heeding the quiet, breath filled call just behind your ear will guide you to a life of purpose, peace, and fulfillment.
The rest of the voices tend to drown out the small one which matters the greatest.
Confusion shouts angrily.
Wisdom whispers peacefully or speaks loud enough to command the attention of all the other voices.
Wisdom doesn’t say you’re a failure. Wisdom steps in even if you’ve messed up to offer a hand up and a way out.
Wisdom doesn’t add to the chaos. Wisdom destroys it.
Wisdom isn’t just another one of the voices shouting in and at you.
Wisdom calmly speaks.
Wisdom is the voice of truth.
The voice of wisdom sounds like this…
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you… (Philippians 4:13)
For everything there is a season… (Ephesians 3)
Your heart has plans, but God establishes your steps… (Proverbs 16:9)
You are all together beautiful, my love… (Song of Solomon 4:7)
If you are faithful with the little things, you will be trusted with bigger things… (Luke 16:10)
You are worth more than even the smallest of birds, which God sees and cares for.. (Matthew 10)
You are a new creation…it’s time to brush off the old…(2 Corinthians 5:17)
That good work that was started in you…it’ll be completed in God’s timing… (Philippians 1:6)
You are never, ever alone… (Hebrews 13:5)
And one of my personal favorite things wisdom says…
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
Don’t believe the shouts of lies and the conundrum of opinionated clamors that plague you inside and outside of your head.
Don’t give up.
Don’t approach the new year as a leftover failure from the last.
Realize you’re going to make mistakes.
Realize there will be some things that don’t work out.
Realize you cannot plan every part of your life to a “t.”
Realize there are going to be things that will surprise you along the way.
Accept God’s grace for these realities.
Don’t let the rest of the voices drown out the still, small one.
In 2014 and every new year you are graciously gifted with, put on the canceling headphones that carry the voice of but one speaker.
Believe that voice of truth.