Every story has its dragons, and probably every year of life. Dragons should be faced with courage, not whimpering, because dragons eat "milquetoast types" for breakfast. However, even a brave hobbit has a fighting chance.
Milquetoast? What does that mean? I must confess that I had to do some research on this fanciful, whimsical word. To be milquetoast means to be a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated. I do not want to be the milquetoast type, this I know! I want to be a brave hobbit, ready to face my dragons!
It was rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of which so many songs had sung; and also he had noticed that such weapons made a great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly. “Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter. - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Philippians 3:1-14 speaks of forgetting the past, and reaching for those things still ahead, pressing toward the goal, and moving forward. It's the only thing to do! We have hope to find courage to face the dragons in our life.
What dragons are you facing today that make it hard for you to face the new year? Honestly speaking, I've found myself in a bit of a rut the past few months. Not sure how it happened, but it started when my father had open heart surgery in October. This event threw me off course. As one who has experienced depression and fear in the past, and has tasted freedom, I refuse to stay in that place. Time to shake off the dust! I have hope. I do not have to fear! Fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe, it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life. (Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
How do we know this is true? His word is true, but only if we look to Him. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. If you will call upon Me, and pray to Me, I will listen to you. You will see Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13) If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, "Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you." (Donald Miller)
God has a plan in the story of our lives, but He would like your help in creating it! He wants you not to just exist, but to truly live life.
I am a firm believer in having a vision and writing it down each year. Without a vison, people perish, and so do dreams. Today make it a point to write down your vision for the new year. It can include relational, financial, educational, or any other personal dream or goal. I wonder if the reasons our lives seems so muddled is because we keep walking into scenes in which we, along with the people around us, have no clear idea of what we want. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain. (Donald Miller)
Write the vision: Write what you see. Write it out in BIG BLOCK LETTERS so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming - it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on it's way. It will come right on time. (Habakkuk 2:2-3, The Message Bible)
This year along with my more practical goals, I have made it a goal to try something new (whether it be big or small) at least once a month. It's something I have been trying to do for about two years now, but this year I plan to commit to it. It helps me to stay out of my comfort zone and to face my fears. Perhaps I will write about some of my new adventures!
This year, do not become milquetoast! Face your dragons head on! It's the only thing to do! On we go!