You are average and you are not in control. Is there any more contradictory statement in our culture today. I mean, your awesome, extraordinary, able to control and do everything...right? Is this really true, and how does this really make you feel? Anxious, Powerful? Let's take an honest and truthful look at this together.
Yesterday, our 2015-2016 class of Seekers and leaders headed out to West Texas for their first big trip of the year in Big Bend National Park. The Awakening Trip is an introduction to the core tenets of Veritas: Body, Mind, Spirit--through hiking, cooking, camping, journaling and discussion time. Above, all, exploring God's wonders in creation. We pray over our Seekers year-round, but we ask that if you feel so inclined, that you join us in lifting up our team and our youth as they embark on their journey.
The Awakening projected timeline is as follows:
Day 1: Leave for Alpine, Texas, at 5 am and check in at Hacienda. Watch Bethlehem Star Project.
Day 2: Program introduction to all three life aspects, and overview of application of the week's hiking and equipment at the house. Possible swim at Balmorhea State Park's spring-fed pool. Visit McDonald Observatory at 7:20 p.m.
Day 3: Begin Chisos Loop hike and camp at CO1 (Colina Trail 1)
Day 4: Hike along South Rim and camp at LM sites (Laguna Meadow)
Day 5: Pack up, hike out and return to Dallas and Houston, better equipped and ready for the next challenge.
Here's a glimpse of the trail our Seekers will be traversing.
If you'd like to follow our Seekers on their journey, sign up for Spot Tracker for the trip! Password: veritas. You'll get email notifications of their progress and you can see on the map where the group is on the trail.
Look for a recap of the trip in the upcoming weeks!
When I think about New Year’s resolutions, I’m curious how many resolutions are actually met. We are all, especially me, hopelessly flawed and imperfect. For a few years, I was anti-resolution, meaning I did not participate or even attempt to write down or declare any New Year’s resolution of any sort. I hated the disappointment of once again not meeting my goals. My un-resoluteness led to an “ignorance is bliss feeling” but also left me with an aimless wandering without direction.
Goals and resolutions in themselves are not bad but there is something skewed about the pressure and unrealistic goals we place on ourselves every year. I’ve read several articles and blogs about the Anti-New Years Revolution movement and understand the appeal of accepting one’s flaws; however, I know we were placed here and designed with a purpose: the center of that purpose being to glorify our Creator. With that in mind, instead of focusing on unrealistic resolutions that impact just yourself why not revolve your resolutions around how you can connect or impact your community?
The best kinds of resolutions are deeply connected to who you are, how God has formed you, and whom God is calling you to impact. Does this mean I should never come up with a personal resolution? Absolutely not. This is a challenge to intentionally think about your resolutions and how they affect others and how you can help those around you. We were designed for fellowship and to connect with others. I recommend keeping it simple, realistic, and unattainable and taking it day by day. So for example, let’s say you want to befriend that coworker or student that nobody talks to, how about instead of stalking them and asking them to be your bestie, setting aside 5-10 minutes a week to chat with them about their day. That’s 4-8 hours a year!
Last year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to have meals with my community around a table in my backyard. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, because of time and finances it took awhile to build a table large enough, but it ended up happening midway through the year. Check out the photo above of my Home Group’s Friendsgiving. It was a sweet time of getting to know each other more deeply.
Another angle to helping others while challenging yourself is to establish an accountability system. In our community of Seekers, Grant, Gary, and I work intentionally on making goals attainable, realistic, and keeping each other accountable. Both of our girl Seekers and myself want to work on our upper body strength so we have given each other pushup goals for each week in preparation for our pushup training that we’ll start in January. It’s a modified pushup program that I have adapted to help us work up to 100 pushups a day. If you’re thinking 100 pushups a day sounds pretty dang ambitious, you’re right, it does. But when you break it down into small sets each day and work up over a 12-week period it’s absolutely doable. We even have a new Veritas Life Adventures app that helps keep you accountable. It is FREE from the ITunes or Android App Store. Just type in Veritas Life Adventures.
To avoid the aimless wandering, what kind of simple, realistic, and attainable goals are you going to set this year that helps others and utilize your unique gifting? Accountability is always encouraged.