Who Will You Be in 2021?

'Future' by Ahmed Carter (unsplash.com)‘Future’ by Ahmed Carter (unsplash.com)

Thought for the Week

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye

~“Teach Your Children” (Graham Nash)

It’s planning time. Remember back at the start of 2020 when a lot of pundits (including me) couldn’t resist using the term2020 vision in their predictions for the coming year?

Ah, well, so much for “the best laid plans of mice and men.”

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our plans for what we’ll do in the coming year, much less our entire lives, no matter how well-thought-out, can never be certain. So, did 2020 teach us not to make plans? Of course not. But it did remind us to include if/then contingencies in our plans, and even so to brace ourselves for the unforeseeable (worldwide pandemic, anyone?).

But there is one thing we can plan with certainty:

Who we will be. Because the key to this kind of planning lies not in knowing what will happen, but in how we’ll respond. What values and truths will we live by? Will they be so inseparable from our character that they inform all of our actions and choices no matter what happens? Will we live out those values in the midst of unforeseen tragedies? Or windfalls? (More people’s values collapse during the latter than the former.) And so what? Why is it important?

It’s important because ultimately (and “ultimately” will happen—we can plan on it), it won’t be what we did that mattered…

But who we were.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Who Will You Be in 2021?

  1. Well said, Mitch. It’s not so much what will happen, but how I will respond.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. crowriter says:

    This year taught me that I actually do stick to my values even in extreme circumstances. It’s one of the things I’m proud of. This year my partner and I are making three goals if the pandemic resolves but also three goals for ourselves no matter what the outer circumstances are. This is a helpful guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My values guide my planning and flexibility is one of my values. If the world doesn’t go the way I planned, I know I can chart a course that keeps me going towards the ultimate – even if I have to side track or back track to get to the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clever Girl says:

    Love this! Yes, who we were (are) and our effect on others’ lives is all that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. numrhood says:

    what you will be in 4546

    Like

  6. A very insightful post. It seems the older I get, the more myself I want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mitch, Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I am very grateful that I stumbled across your blog or that you stumbled across mine– I can’t remember which now–but I am particularly grateful that you have been so proactive in promoting other bloggers, including me. You really exemplify what it means to shine with the light of Christ, my brother. Keep the flame alight, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well said. It matters who we are, who we belong to. In the end, standing with Christ Jesus matters. Everything else is rubbish in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. revruss1220 says:

    Very wise, perfectly stated guidance for the new year. It brings James 4:13-15 to mind wherein the writer says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.’ Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.'” Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think of my dad every time I drink a cold Coca-Cola; I mean from the classic glass bottle with water dripping down the sides. Such was our bonding ritual–sharing a cold Coke at some “hole-in-the-wall” establishment.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s a thought. The outcome may be the result of some big and unique challenges. Season’s greetings Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. markbierman says:

    Amid the storm of 2020, it’s such a blessing to be reminded that God is in control and that no matter what, He will work all things to our benefit. I’ve experienced this personally, this past year. Your post is full of wisdom and engages true inner reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane Tawel says:

    Yes — wish we had helped young people focus more on being than doing but maybe this past year can be a restart button. This post reminds me of that trending meme I have come to like: “In a world where you can be anything — Be Kind.” Best “of” you in the New Year, Mitch, Jane

    Liked by 1 person

  14. kathy says:

    How true! And Happy New Year to you and your family, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

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