The dictionary describes impression as : a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.
Imagine walking into a room full of people you don't know. The first impression they will have of you as you walk through the door, is usually a lasting effect. The impression they will have of you could be wrapped in questions such as: were you dressed appropriately, was your hair in place, did you look pleasant to the eyes. When you eventually opened your mouth to speak, was your voice pleasant, tone soft and were your words polite, were you calm and composed. Was your mannerism inviting or quite simply appalling!?
Wherever we go, or in whatever situations we find ourselves, whether we like it or not, we leave some sort of impression behind. Therefore, it is safe to say that, "usually, we only have one chance to make a good first impression", don't you think?
Which leaves me asking this question: "What impression does the year 2008 have of you so far? "
Have you waltzed into 2008, with the same blue prints and expressions of 2007, hoping that 2008 will be impressed with what you have to offer? Or has it been impressed by your aura, your ambiance and your preparation to take on the challenge it has to offer?
This leads me to this word PREPARATION....
The dictionary describes preparation as thus: "to put in proper condition or readiness; To make ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion".
When we have an exam, a first date or even an interview, we take the time to prepare ourselves as much as we can. We write plans, we read up on information, we take time grooming ourselves, and a whole lot more!.
How have we prepared for 2008? Did we waltz into 2008, hoping to "wing it", hoping that whatever this year brings for us, will all eventually come together, somehow, someway, that it will all just magically fit into place? Or have we approached it prepared, with a plan, dressed up and ready for all the appointments and divine instances that is sure going to be within the reality of this year?
Looking through the story of Esther in the bible, Esther prepared herself intensely for a whole year before her potential encounter with the king. She knew the importance of preparation. she knew that her failure to prepare will cut short her chances of being chosen amongst all the other girls in the harem. She knew that she had to prepare, to be ready for any eventuality with her encounter with the king. She did not underestimate that potential meeting with the king.
Just as Esther, we should not underestimate our potential encounter with divine appointment and destiny this year. We should prepare ourselves like Esther and be ready for any and every opportunity that will come our way this year. We must remember that God has already seen the end of 2008, and we simply have to walk in it's reality. And as our God is a good God, and the plans he has for us are good, according to Jeremiah 29: 11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" thus, I believe that all along the way in 2008, dotted around, are divine appointments, divine instances, where all that is required of us is to simply be ready.
We must be ready to make first and lasting impressions, that put us right there in the centre of God's will for our lives this year. We must be prepared because we simply do not know the results, the outcome or impacts these divine appointments will have on our lives, or on someone else's life for that matter, for impartation works both ways.
This year, I would like to encourage us all to not underestimate the importance of preparation, the importance of first impressions, the importance of simply being prepared for all God has in store for us in 2008. God will and has done his part, it's simply down to us to be ready to walk in the reality of what he has in store for us this year!
We must not forget to write down the visions that God has given us down as taught in Habakkuk 2:2 "And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it."
Not only must we write down the vision, we must plan around the vision! Proverbs 21:5, notes the importance of good planning, it reads "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." We must plan for all the divine appointments we will surely be blessed with this year. Imagine not being ready for that one appointment that could change the course of your life forever?!
Also, when planning, we must not forget that we plan according to God's vision, his will for our lives, so that his purpose will prevail as explained in Proverbs 19:21 "21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail."
So here is me wishing you a great start to 2008, planning and preparing your first 'WOW' impressions on 2008, getting ready for all divine appointments and instances that God has schedule for you; not forgetting to make our Lord, more famous along the way.