Wrapping Up 2022 Well
by: Pastor Kenneth Mulkey

As we approach the conclusion of another year, what would you say you’re thinking about the most? What did not get accomplished? Will you actually reach your year end goals? Are you already in January 2023? Or, are you finally catching your breath from a hectic schedule since Black Friday?

No matter where you might locate yourself on the above mentioned spectrum, I’d like you to sit back and consider a few inspirational thoughts that will provide you with some reflection, a bit of pause mostly (and hopefully), Peace.

You’re Still Here!
What does this heading mean? Well, it means that you are still alive! You are breathing, speaking, hearing, working, loving, doing, creating, fixing, helping, sharing, feeling and so much more. Whenever a woman is pregnant with a new life inside of her, there is cause for celebration. Family and friends plan baby showers, or, “reveal parties” because a beautiful baby boy or girl is about to enter this world and enrich the lives of many others. Upon arrival we continue to grow, develop and mature into the people we are today. Yet, in this process, we might not ever stop long enough to “smell the roses” of this gift we’ve been given called life. I’m sure you have known people, your age and younger, who are no longer with us – they are gone too soon. Our hearts grieve the losses of these family and friends because they were a gift in our lives and the gift of their presence is no longer with us. This perspective may help us understand that YOU are a GIFT to others and that you still have hopes, dreams and purpose to fulfill. Your presence is invaluable to your family, friends, community and workplace. You are making a difference because you’re still here.

Think About What Has Been Accomplished
Most of us began this year with some lofty personal, family and business goals. But as we look at where we are today, we admit that we haven’t experienced all (in some cases not even some!) of what we have set out to do. “How could this be? I wrote everything out! I cast vision like every leader is supposed to do. What happened? There are a myriad of reasons as to “why” we didn’t achieve the goals that we were so clear in our minds. Some reasons were ‘in our control’ and others were not. If we only think about what did not get done, or, what was not accomplished, we will miss the greater focus of what I/we actually did accomplish. I had some specific revenue and client goals that I set out to achieve this year and guess what? I did not achieve either one of them. Am I sad? Not at all. I experienced some great ‘wins’ this year and I am choosing to focus on what was accomplished. If you choose to do this, I guarantee it will provide you with energy and motivation to keep moving forward. Another way to think of this is to be grateful for what you do have, not what you don’t have. Let me use a Bible story to illustrate.

One day Jesus had over five thousand men and their families following Him for days and they were hungry; not good. He and his disciples did not have any funds or food to feed the crowds; double not good. A disciple named Philip found a young boy who had a lunch of five loaves and two small fish. Jesus took this miniscule lunch and gave thanks for it, then a miracle of multiplication took place and all were satisfactorily fed. Take ten minutes and think only about what you have, what’s been accomplished and I bet it will invoke gratitude.

The Game Is Not Over!
In high school I played basketball. In my senior year we had a great team and went to the CIF Quarter-Finals against a historic, basketball powerhouse, Long Beach Poly High School. The game was close and we were losing, but there was still a little bit of time on the clock. I got the ball, dribbled the full length of the court, put it behind my back and made a shot over a 6’5’’ guy to send the game into overtime! We ended up going into two additional overtimes and finally won the game. It was truly a David versus Goliath type of victory. In your life or business it may appear like you are losing, but the clock is still running and you have to keep believing that you can win, achieve, succeed and overcome, though the clock is ticking for 2022. There’s still time to make another push toward your intended goals. In the running events for track and field, your coach will never tell you to run to the finish line, but run through the finish line.  Your life, family or business will not end on December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm because it’s not your finish line. Keep going.

Who Will You Become?
I’ve observed something that can happen on the road to growth and success and that is we start to become someone who we do not like. In our efforts to stay relevant in competitive markets, we might discover some attitudes and behaviors that are not consistent with our core values of who we really are. I believe the ideal is to become a better person on the road to growth and success. Hopefully I/we learn how setbacks teach us patience; losses make us humble; relationships and people are more important than resources and products. A new year invites us all to think of “What am I going to do?”  But, what if we deeply thought about “Who do I want to become?”  Do I want to consistently be short tempered? Compromising my integrity for profit? Constantly anxious  about my services, products, and competitors? Or, do I prefer to be more gracious, consistent and peaceful? It’s possible if we take this point to heart and decide who we will become.

Happy New Year’s and God Bless you!

Kenneth Mulkey has been preaching the Gospel for over thirty years and has served as a pastor at Cottonwood Church for nearly twenty-five years. During this time, he’s served in executive leadership, pastoral care, and is one of the main teaching pastors to nurture and equip the congregation. Kenneth’s passion to equip believers in discovering and deploying their purpose has garnered speaking opportunities both locally and internationally. He is the founder and president of KM Coaching where he coaches pastors and leaders in personal and vocational development. Kenneth is the author of Run to Win, Finding Your Lane and Finishing; Helping Others Win, 10 Keys to Effective Mentoring, and creator of an online course entitled The Mentoring Mandate Course. Kenneth and his wife, Angel, reside in Southern California with their 3 beautiful daughters. To contact Kenneth Mulkey, please click here for his email.