Saturday, December 31, 2011

Close-out Special

Today is the last day to savor a vintage year.  A new year is being bottled up right now and many folks will stay up late to drink from the new label.  This is your last chance to reflect on all you've done before the calendar flips.

I'm thankful for the lessons I learned this year.  The highlight has been getting back in touch with old friends and making new ones.  Some people tell me they can't wait to say good-bye to this year and start fresh tomorrow.  All of us want to go through life undefeated.  It doesn't work that way and this year has taught me valuable lessons about being knocked down.  The view is different when you find yourself on the ground looking up.  That referee is in your face counting to ten.  The Enemy is challenging you to get up so He can throw one more punch.

As I lay flat on my back at the end of this year, I hear voices from those who retired from the ring.  Every one of them is saying the same thing.  "Get back on your feet."

I turn to the crowd outside the ring and I see my supporters...teachers, mentors, spiritual leaders, friends, classmates, business partners, family members, team-mates, and members of my writers group.  They are all chanting..."Stand up!"

The enemy wants to claim victory for this year that is about to close out.  If I stay down, He will wear the championship belt.  He will use it every day in the New Year to remind me of His victory.  Like flashes of light, I see all the ups and downs of this past year.  I remember that no matter how tough some of these days were, maybe some of the most challenging of my entire life, there is one thing I did consistently...I got back on my feet after every knock-down.  With two seconds to go, I rise up from the floor.  My face is bloody as I stare down my opponent.  That's right.  By getting up from the ground, I get to wear the championship belt one more year.

How about you?  Are you going to apply the lessons you learned this year to live your life to it's fullest every day in the New Year.  Before this year is sold out, go out and get a close-out special.  This year's label is about to disappear.  The name on the label for 2011 is "happiness."  It's on sale right now.  Stock up on it.  This is how I choose to remember this year and how I will start the New Year tomorrow.  Don't forget to share your close-out special with a friend.  Anyone can drink it regardless of circumstances.

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