My Thirtieth, Intentional Year

This week I turned 29.

...  (I'll pause while you sing me Happy Birthday.)  ...

The 366 days that I lived as a 28-year-old were kinda rough. Not


, not close to


, just kind of

sad. and angsty. 

It involved a lot of sitting and wishing, not very much doing.

If I honestly evaluate the year that passed, it was kind of a waste. Some things were learned, experienced, enjoyed, accomplished-- but so much more

could have been



birthdays come around every year to remind us that we're getting older all the time, and all the time we have time to start anew.

I have completed 29 years, and now I begin my thirtieth: 365 days of the rest of my life. So I am considering the question: What do I want this year---this life!---to be?

What would my life look like if I dedicated this next year to a focus on physical fitness?

What if rocking an Ironman triathlon was my goal? What if calories and carbs and lean body mass were the foci of each day? My schedule, my diet, my routine, my finances---all would be servants of my goal of ultimate physical fitness.

What would my life look like if I dedicated this next year solely to academic accomplishment?

What if getting published in a prestigious journal was my goal? What if acing all my classes and amazing my professors and colleagues was my primary focus? Books, books, books. All library all the time. My sleep schedule, my social life, my Amazon purchases---all subservient to this goal of impressive academic achievement.

What would my life look like if I dedicated this next year to my savings account?

What if putting a down payment on a big house was my big goal? Interest rates, coupons, and penny pinching would be my daily obsessions. Everything in my life---from the thread count of my sheets to the number of times I used the same paper towel---would be affected by my single-minded goal to save up as much money as possible.



what would my life look like if I resolutely dedicated this next year to Christ?

What if being formed in His likeness was my driving aspiration? What if bringing Him pleasure and dwelling in His company were my measurements of success? My schedule and activities, my diet and my finances, my words and my relationships---all intentioned for His glory. I would seek for ways to be useful to Him. I would saturate myself with His word. I would earnestly learn from Him in the school of prayer.

And I would know that this year---this life!---was not a waste.


I will know

that this year---this life!---was not a waste, but awake! My thirtieth, intentional year.

"Teach us to number our days, 

that we may gain a heart of wisdom."