The world lost a songbird on New Year’s Eve, when Ms. Natalie Cole took her rest. I found myself utterly shocked. She was what Wendy Williams refers to as a “friend in my head.” In my world, she and I were musically connected; we also both lost our fathers to lung cancer, experience heartfelt love and heartfelt pain. Her songs knitted a fabric for love, hurt, joy and pain. My mother’s girlfriend took me to a Natalie Cole concert very early in my life, and I was blessed to sit on the third row. I was never the same. She sang directly to me, “Love is you, love is me, love is just a little baby!” And she smiled. I was done. I continued to purchase her music and follow her narrative. As I sat on New Year’s Day, listening to her belt the highs and lows of life, traveling down memory lane, I accompanied my journey by reading the statuses of my family and friends in various social media outlets. Each person created and posted pictures stating that sweet 16 would be a year to remember. So, in the vein of the beautifully talented Ms. Natalie Cole, let’s consider the declaration, “This Will Be” in 2016!
This Will Be! a year to follow Proverbs 16:3: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” We can have the best intentions possible, but unless we submit them unto the Master and ask him to breathe upon them and bring them to fruition, our plans will be void of the manifestation of what God desires for us. We must seek to follow his instructions, without question.
This Will Be! a year to obey God’s Word, as we follow manmade rules and regulations. There are protocols established in our places of employment as well as community and civic organizations to which we experience membership that we hold accountability more closely than those associated with the kingdom living. Joshua 1:7 affirms, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” In 2016, it is imperative that we remain connected to the Father. One surefire way to accomplish this task is to create time to read the Word. For example, I am not blessed yet to read for 1-3 hours a day like my mother who is retired; but if I examine my schedule more circumspectly, removing those things that will not benefit me in the long run, I can determine more space for the upbuilding of my spiritual life. In fact, as we strengthen our relationship with Christ, we will find that we don’t need to decompress with mindless activity as a stress reliever, and instead find what we need within Jehovah Jireh.
This Will Be! a year to seek wise counsel. We need to be careful about who and what we allow to enter into the sanctity of our minds, hearts and spirit. We must operate in a place of discernment constantly. James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I love the portion regarding “without finding fault.” Its easy to throw rocks at glass houses, until you find yourself occupying one. Too often we have a plethora of individuals willing to extend what they consider “wisdom” over the lives of others, with an expectation for it to be followed. They wouldn’t even follow their advice, so why should you? If I were to sum it up, my hashtag would read: #tryGod. #thatisall
This Will Be! a year to get our temples under the auspices of God. If we are to carry out each assignment and vision that the Creator has blessed to impart to us, we must create avenues to seek wellness. Making healthier choices when it comes to eating, drinking more water (guilty as charged), moving and sleeping more and removing garbage (you fill in the blank) from our lives must be a priority. Research in the School of Public Health at Harvard on health and happiness concluded how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to “wear and tear” and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.” One antidote to the reduction and/or elimination of these concerns is a commitment to live a more well, more balanced, more healthier lifestyle.
Finally, This Will Be! a year to truly love life by caring for others. We must create more space for laughter and love. As often as we can, we must construct time to enjoy the people that we’ve been blessed to call family and friends. When God places people on our hearts, let us follow through by picking up the phone, or sending a text or a card in the mail to let them know they are loved. Let’s create more time for catching up over lunch, or while driving around, running errands. When we have the ability, let us pick up an extra ticket to an event, and invite someone we need to connect with to accompany us. Spending what we may consider as extra will return to us in insurmountable ways. The world can be a lonely place. We are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of others. Let us follow through accordingly to James 13;15, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” “Laying down our life,” means concerning ourselves less about self, and the incorporation of concern for others.
Whatever your intentions of “This Will Be!” are, don’t go it alone. The great “I Am” is a wonderful companion. Make him a part of your life! In the words of our beloved Ms. Natalie Cole to our Creator:
“You brought a lot of a sunshine in to my life
You filled me with happiness I never knew
You gave me more joy then I ever dreamed of
And no one, no one can take the place of you
This will be,
you and me,
An Everlasting Love.”
Rest on Ms. Natalie Cole. You are unforgettable.