What Real Estate and New Year’s Resolutions Have in Common

I have this reoccurring dream every several weeks or so where I’m walking through my house — sometimes it’s an apartment and sometimes it’s a mansion — sometime’s I’m alone and other times I’m with my wife and daughters. What remains consistent is that as I walk through the house I’ve lived in for several years I discover unused rooms, forgotten rooms, unexplored rooms that I’ve never entered. All these years I’ve occupied maybe 690 square feet when in reality I signed a lease for 100 times that space.

I’m at an age where my belief in God is pretty secure. There are moments, days, and seasons where life’s problems cause some drama, but when I calm down I remember that I can trust God. After all, God has been around a lot longer than I’ve been and He seems to have things under control. When I look at the big picture of life, I am forced to acknowledge that God has never left me alone. Nevertheless, I expect too little from God.

I think I’ve created emotional walls of self-protection: protecting myself from high expectations being left unmet; protecting myself from potential disillusionment or disappointment. I know that in some ways I’ve settled for second-best. It’s easier — safer — to live an ordinary life with an ordinary God than it is to believe in a God who is larger than my dreams or expectations. My low expectations are a small stream that slowly uproots my dreams and replaces them with short-sightedness, apathy, and cynicism.

I don’t see very well. I see a small living space that is easy to maintain. I see a manageable life that isn’t beyond what I can handle. I see a God who can be depended on to come over to repair the plumbing or fix a broken furnace — but only after I’ve proven to Him that I’ve done everything possible to fix the problem on my own. Yet every now and then He reminds me, God softly whispers to me, “Don’t you know? Don’t you remember, that what I have for you is so much bigger than this? Why are you limiting yourself to 690 square feet?”

I quit making New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago. I’m now starting my third year focusing on My One Word. The idea is I choose one word focusing on self-growth or improvement that goes beyond the surface and deep into my character. Then, I depend on God’s help to become a better, less self-centered person. That word becomes the lens through which I develop priorities and make daily, moment-by-moment, decisions. I like focusing on one word each year because it brings focus to my actions.

The 2015 word for me is “see.” I want to see God for who He really is. I want to dream — for myself and for others — really big dreams. I’m done settling and can’t wait to see what there is outside the walls I’ve lived in for all these years.

Calvin G. Roso © January 2015

Check it out: http://myoneword.org

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