Without a shadow of a doubt, I can personally say 2017 has been my greatest year.
I was able to successfully complete my undergraduate program in Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering.
Acquired a job in my field within a couple months of graduating.
Met some cool people
Purchased my first car! (that I love a little too much… its gross)
Became an Uncle!!
One of my closest friends returned to University after suffering a traumatic brain injury (click here to read his story!)
And to top it all off, I gained the strength to control my OBSESSION of meat!
I’m being so real right now,
Mans were eating greens and mashed potatoes and tings for a WHOLE MONTH.
Lool, but honestly I have truly never felt so accomplished and content about events which have taken place over a duration of 365 days, and I only have God to thank.
2017 is also the year I battled with the greatest wave of anxieties I’ve yet to face in life.
“Like, for real though…where did all this anxiety come from considering all these great things happening in your life?”
These were the very questions I asked myself, until I stopped & realized that these very “great things” were the sources of my anxiety.
Allow me to elaborate.
For every milestone I met, the same unsettling question haunted me.
After graduation? I grew anxious as I waited for my current employer to contact me for a full time job.
Upon starting the job, I grew anxious about when I would receive my first pay.
Upon receiving it, I noticed how far I was commuting to work and grew anxious towards when I would purchase my first car.
Upon buying it, I became anxious concerning the cost & process of maintaining the vehicle.
Changing tires, getting an oil change, checking the brake system, how often I should clean it….
What about work? What if something messes up with the pay system and I stop getting paid.
How can I maintain my car then?
What if they’re paying me the wrong amount? When will my benefits begin? When will…?
I’m getting paid the correct amount.
I’ve been working for like 3 months, why am I still using this worn out bag.
Why don’t I have a fancy business looking hand bag?
I work for the government. I need a fancy business looking hand bag!
Yes, finally got one!…but my lunch bag won’t fit.
I don’t want to waste money buying food everyday do I?
I need a snazzy small lunch box to fit into my new fancy looking business hand bag.
Lol, I can honestly snicker at this now.
Now, that I see it on paper, I realize how excessively anxious I genuinely was over these things.
Upon reflecting on these thoughts, I felt extremely selfish & disgusted for even feeling anxious about these things when others may be extremely grateful should these very things happen to them (which ironically made me even more anxious).
But at the time, these were the very thoughts that kept me up at night and unnecessarily stressed me out in the mornings.
Often times, I thought to myself.
“I’m a Christian…I really shouldn’t be anxious about this, let alone anything”
What was the issue here?
I noticed one thing.
For the majority of this year, my joys & contentment has been drawn from one or more of the following:
- Academic success
- Church success
- Career success
All these things shared one thing in common.
There was never a 100% guarantee that these accomplishments would forever withstand.
As such, anything that would potentially threaten them in any way, made me anxious.
Thankfully, reading and meditating on John 15:4-11 reshaped my perspective for the better.
Verses 4 – 10 speaks of the analogy as Christ being the vine and we being His branches, encouraged to remain in Him.
However, the 11th verse is what really spoke out to me.
“11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full”
John 15:11 ESV
The simple truths from this passage is something I so often overlook.
God wants me to be…joyful?
Ya..lool He actually does.
The end result of consistently abiding in Christ is not for us to be bored in obedience or to boast in our righteousness or our love for Him.
God wants your joy to be full in Him.
What did this mean for me?
Nothing on earth could ever complete my joy, other than Christ.
That essentially is the greatest and simplest lesson I was taugth this year.
Even if there was a 100% certainty that I would never lose the accomplishments I attained this year, there will forever be a void in my life lest I abide in Christ.
I can win a billion dollars tomorrow, enjoy a sick free life for 100 years, have a great reputation amongst all my peers, have an amazing marriage, etc.
If I am outside of Christ, all these things are vain, amounting to absolutely nothing.
On the other hand…
Regardless of the unfortunate events you may have endured (or have yet to endure) with Christ, you will still be full, complete, at peace and joyful.
The best thing about this message is that, it’s applicable to literally every single person.
We were all created to be satisfied in God, and the secret to this is abiding in Jesus Christ.
Behind all the jokes, metaphors and “chicken” related statements on my blog is a genuine voice of a desire for you to experience true joy that comes from abiding in Christ.
The Gospel will always be relevant, let’s do ourselves a favour and indulge in it.
Happy New Year 🙂
Soli Deo Gloria