If it snows in London, it’s like a sprinkling of wet confectioner’s sugar. Although, frozen precipitation is inevitable during the winter season, Londoners always seem completely unprepared. Sidewalks become skating rinks as commuters walk to and from work in far from suitable shoes for slippery conditions. I was one of them.
Then, after having lived through a number of Massachusetts winters, on a flight from Boston to London one December, the weather forecast for England caught my eye—cold, it said, snow flurries, frost, and the possibly of icy roads. Instead of freaking out, I smiled.
I could now shovel snow and throw ice melt like a local. 2015 was the worst winter on record; I plowed through it like a pro. I now know how to handle snow.
It would be easy for me to laugh and mock the efforts of my fellow British citizens as they slip and slide on one inch of snow when I can step sturdily in a season of one hundred inches of the white stuff.
But, when we are experts, we should coach, have compassion, and not condemn.
So, how do we prepare for the inevitable, not the improbable, in the seasons of life? Not what is unlikely to happen but what is likely to happen.
What do you need to be ready for in this coming year? Is it a new job or deciding to leave your job, raising kids or hoping to start a family, teenagers heading to college or getting through high school, welcoming your children’s partners or a family marriage, becoming a grandparent or an upcoming surgery?
With a little bit of preparation we can be ready for the predictable and unpredictable.
Being prepared means feeling confident we can do it instead of being apprehensive or fearful we are inept.
So, here are three suggestions for gaining confidence for the year ahead, so your next steps don’t take you flying off your feet:
1. A heap of observation.
See how others do it and learn from their experiences, especially those who are wise and learned.
For years I’ve watched my three older siblings and learned from them. I’ve seen how they’ve dealt with their children, my nieces and nephews, going off to college, starting jobs, getting married, and having their own families. It’s given me assurance as my own children have become young adults.
2. A ton of determination.
We need to venture out and strive to do our best. We might slip over, but unless we try, we’ll never learn. And, don’t let scaremongers dictate how you feel. One person’s experience is not necessarily going to be your own.
3. A little seed of faith.
The Bible tells us, a tiny seed-size faith is all it takes. But, we need to have faith in the right things. Not in ourselves, not in other people, but faith in God who promises if we trust in him, then we can move mountains.
Sometimes the smallest things, like a sprinkling of snow, can trip us up. But have hope and optimism; seasons come and go.
As you start a New Year, who can you learn from? Where can you be determined? Where do you need to trust God?
Lord God, give me wisdom for the year ahead. Help me to learn from those who are wise and have gone before me. Give me strength to do the best I can no matter what I face. But most of all, I place my faith and trust in you, knowing that when I slip or trip, you are there to hold me steady. Amen
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash