Posted by: kulanjiyil | January 23, 2010

Starting Well

How important is a good start? A good start is decisive in finishing well. Take for example, professional sports like a running race. In a competitive event, the slightest delay in starting the race would put the contender in great disadvantage. Unless the person is well trained and resilient to beat the odds, the chances of winning the race are very remote. Dedication to rigorous training, physical, emotional and mental endurance, perseverance, patience, clearly defined goals and focus, are some of the essential qualities of a skilled runner.

A new year has dawned on us-the year 2010.  How important is it to you that you start the year well?  What are the indicators that you have started well?  Well, the answer depends on what values steer your life, and what goals you set for yourself this year. Material success is often the driving force for many. The distressing cost of such lives are often broken relationships, breaking marriages, ever-increasing stress, and dwindling emotional and physical health.

I would propose a key indicator to help you determine if you have started the year well. Have you made your family the first priority this year?  Above all other ambitions and goals that drive your life, the wellbeing of your family ought to be your first concern. Within the family you have two distinct roles, one as a spouse, and the other as a parent. These are two different systems, but they are interrelated. The strength of a family is only as good as these two systems are.  As a couple, your primary loyalty is to your spouse, and your commitment or lack of it to build up your spousal system is a test of your devotion to the family. Identify at least one area in your marriage, where you want to see some enhancement. Be willing to do your part and encourage your spouse to do his or her part. You know that good and healthy marriages do not happen as you would expect, but you have to work towards it. It takes both of you to work as a team to get things accomplished. Strengthening your marital system can prepare you to become better and competent parents. As a parent, your first obligation is to your children. Your children may be at a critical stage in their development and this may be the most effective phase that you can positively impact them on. Devote your time for them. Learn to communicate with them more effectively. Be a sympathetic and compassionate parent. Your children will appreciate this more than any other things you plan to provide them with this year. Take heed that the lost opportunities would never come back. The scriptures instruct us, “redeem the time.”  A healthy family environment, with both the spousal and parental systems functioning efficiently, creates the right condition for personal growth and personal fulfillment.

The secret of finishing well is not having good intentions, but acting upon them. After establishing some achievable goals for the year, you must begin pursuing them insistently. Procrastination is an obstacle to overcome. Dwelling on the past mistakes and failures can only discourage and cripple you. Apostle Paul has a word of encouragement: stop thinking about what is behind, and look forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3: 13), and you will finish the year well.

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