Happy New Year! Although our Christmas was not white in Fargo-Moorhead, USA, as we begin 2015, Kathy and I are ready to resume our traveling and service on behalf of Lions Clubs International. The months leading up to the International Convention in Honolulu will be full to official visits, in-district activities, and special events. The upcoming year promises to be exciting.
Before moving fully into the New Year, my thoughts focus on the resolutions I posted on New Years Day 2014 and the surprises and opportunities that await us in 2015. I began the year with five resolutions and while there is more work to do on some of them, they remained an important part of my focus throughout the year.
My first resolution was to exercise, stay current with what is happening in the world, and to be active in my church. I am pleased to report that as of today, I am beginning my 9th year of regular physical exercise at the NDSU Wellness Center; continue to monitor events affecting the lives of people around the world; and feel strengthened and supported by my home Elim congregation as they follow our travels and service as an International Director for Lions Clubs International.
The focus of my second resolution centered on love, positive communication, and respect for others. As I reflect on the events of 2014, my life would not have been the same without the love and support of my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my extended family, and the many friends who shared my dream to serve at the international level. My commitment to speaking well of others, and respecting and responding to those around me with love and support remains strong. I strive daily to be a “Loving Individual Offering Needed Service.”
My third resolution challenged me to keep forgiving those who hurt me, ask for the forgiveness of those I hurt, and to continue trying to understand those who do not share my point of view. While we all struggle with this one, I am committed to the process of letting go of past hurts and will do my best to offer a helping intention to everyone I encounter.
The fourth resolution focused on earning the endorsement from the Lions of Multiple District 5 in order to give of my talents and time at the international level of service. Kathy and I were so fortunate to experience the joys of this resolution; and I am so grateful to serve the Lions who endorsed me last May and who now have reached out to support Kathy and me in our role as an International Director couple.
Finally, my last resolution of 2014 was to be committed to action; being resolved to do something to make a difference in the world. After my first six months in office, the people we have met on our journey of service have convinced us that we are on the right path. With the support of the executive officers, fellow board members, and the great staff of LCI, Kathy and I are committed to doing our best and adding value to the organization while we are serving in this capacity.
These five resolutions remain timely for us, and form the basis for my resolutions for the upcoming year.
Resolution #1: Taking care of my body and spirit remain very important to me. I am resolved to continue my regimen of exercise, study, and spiritual growth.
Resolution #2: As a “Loving Individual Offering Needed Service” (Scruggs, 2010), I am resolved to keep my family and friends close to my heart and respond to the needs of others with genuine concern and understanding.
Resolution #3: Recognizing my imperfections and asking for the forgiveness of those who are foremost in my life compels me to remain committed to being resolved to retain the need to forgive as a central theme in my life.
Resolution #4: Stemming from my belief that much is expected from those who have the ability to serve, my resolution to offer my talents and time in new and expanded ways remains as the cornerstone of who I am and strive to be.
As I mentioned earlier, the surprises and opportunities of 2015 remain a mystery. Perhaps that’s part of why the music of Grammy-award winner, Karen Taylor Good (herself a Lion) speaks to me and continues to guide my resolution for service:
“When I meet my Maker and my time on earth is done, When I stand before Him looking back from where I’ve come, I can only pray that with His grace and love, He will say: I used you up.
Use me up, let me give ev’rything I am. Pour out my heart and soul according to your plan. Use me up, let there be nothing of me left, No chance to love untaken, not one regret.
Lord, I want to live each day as though it were my last. And ev’ry gift you’ve given me I want to give it back. What more could I ask for it would surely be enough Just to hear you say I used you up.”
So, Happy 2015! May some of the magic that came to Kathy and me in 2014, come to you in the year ahead.
–ID Lion Robert Littlefield