SGLY: Running out of next times

By Tiffany Chartier
Special to the Prosper Press

Turning the calendar to another page,

crossing off time with a thin line.

Thinking of “re-dos” and “want-tos,”

I’ll do better next time.

Hurrying the minutes,

while begging the years to slow down.

Two hands praying — one heart searching,

trying to balance lost and found.

Do it now or do it later,

the choice isn’t always mine to make.

Sometimes I’m the tent;

sometimes the stake.

Will I linger in fields of yellow,

or will I ride fast before the light turns red?

Either way, time sets the pace,

and it walks steady, one step ahead.

Soon I will change the calendar to a new year,

reminiscing through 12-months of thin lines.

Thinking of “re-dos” and “want-tos,”

Knowing I’m running out of next times.

Dear reader, as the final months of 2021 begin, may we acknowledge the lessons from our highs and lows, giving attention to the habits we are taking with us into 2022. Now is an excellent time

to think about “next time.” As you look at the questions below, perhaps they will encourage you to pursue your best life beginning today.

1. What needs your attention the most in your pursuit of personal well-being (mind, body, spirit)? What tangible steps can be taken to put a new habit into practice?

2. How do you wish to envision your relationships in the upcoming year? Would you like to cultivate more meaningful connections, get involved in a cause, join a group with those who have mutual interests, keep in better contact with a family member/friend, or work on sharing more joy with those closest to you? What are you willing to get engaged in to inspire better growth and depth in relating to others? Building relationships takes discipline and consistency. How can you be more intentional in your relationships?

3. Will you put your trust in Christ? Our most significant relationship is with Christ Jesus. The quality of this relationship affects all others, including how we treat ourselves. Drawing closer to Christ enables us to live from a position of love, faith, and hope regardless of what we can and cannot control. Nothing surprises God. He knows the details of your life, and He desires for you to trust Him. Daily surrendering to Christ and following Him is a decision to choose life, now and for eternity. People of faith do not settle for what they can see — they live into what Christ can do. What worry, unhealthy habit, unforgiveness, pain, or fear do you need to surrender to Christ?

The Word of God is living. In a dying world, one of the best practices we can get into is daily spending of time in the presence of what is truly alive, comforting, instructive and powerful. How can you get into the habit of reading God’s Word each day?

Here are a few suggestions for starting the practice of getting into the Word for 10 minutes a day: couple an already established routine with reading scripture (or having an app read aloud to you) — while having your morning cup of coffee, cooking dinner, or during your lunch break. Rather than fast forward through commercials, read scripture during television breaks. Before you brush your teeth each evening, get into the Word. Write scriptures on notecards and keep them in your purse/wallet — read them during delays, breaks, and moments when you would typically check social media. Tape a scripture you want to focus on for the week on your bathroom mirror — recite it as you get dressed. Before you check your email at the beginning of each day, read scripture.

Soon we will change calendars and greet a new year. May we be willing to turn a new page in more ways than one, focusing on who and what really matters, knowing we are running out of next times.

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.