Fifty-Two Marbles & Faith Goals


At the end of today’s church service*, each family was given a little wine goblet that contains 52 marbles. These marbles represent the 52 weeks of the year, and you’re supposed to take one marble each week and pause and reflect on what the week has brought you.

(Instead of simply taking one marble out and reflecting each week, what I’d like to do is replace each marble with a tiny piece of paper that summarizes the highlight of that week. I’m pretty sure it would be cool to look back on this at the end of this year and see what the wine goblet would’ve contained by then—and even where I’ll be while I’m reading it. 😉 )

This is particularly meaningful for me, as 2017 seems to The Year of Big, Hairy, Audacious (Faith) Goals. It’s a year when I know for sure that each of the 52 weeks will come with its own nerve-wracking but fulfilling challenges, when I know that my resolve will be tested and I’ll be compelled to define and redefine myself through each choice and each step I make.

Faith Goal #1, for instance, is raising $3,000

… for my attendance to the Hive Global Leaders Program in San Francisco—already happening just four weeks from now! When I applied to Hive in October, I had no idea if I was going to get in, and even less of an idea how I’ll be funding my attendance and my trip there. Now, I’m deep into crowdfunding and virtually asking strangers to donate to my trip in exchange for workshops. It’s an ego-bursting, gut-wrenching experience, but it has also been insightful and enriching. Regardless of how much money I end up raising, I know this will be a valuable experience that will stay with me for a very long time, and one that I will share with you all once it’s all over.

Faith Goal #2: Finish writing a book (or two)

I’m writing a book with one my Favorite People in the Universe, and our goal is to finish the e-book by March and the full book by June. When I say, “God only knows if we’ll actually finish it,” I really mean it because only God could’ve planted the seeds of audacity in us, to even attempt writing a book in the midst of so much happening in both of our lives.  But do you also know the saying, “If you want to get things done, ask the busy people to do it?” I think that’s what God had in mind when He chose us to write this book. To me, that’s the only sane and logical explanation for this hairy but fun faith goal. <*Insert nervous chuckle here.*>

Faith Goal #3: Build something pretty awesome (and hot)!

I can’t disclose much right now, but aside from writing a book, we’re also taking a HUGE leap of faith and are building something we’re completely passionate about, and that we know will be of greater service to (what we hope will be) countless people and organizations out there. For me to even consider building something on top of my day job is crazy enough, but to also dream of reaching countless people from around the world doing what we love? That, to me, is crazy-good… and definitely worth all the challenges along the way.

Faith Goals #4-5

… aren’t exactly goals because their outcomes are not totally in my hands; they’re more like Big Questions based on things that are very, very important to me. The great thing is, being more centered on faith has also made me less anxious about these questions, and more firm in the understanding and acceptance that whatever the outcome will be, it will be beautiful and it will be the right thing for me.

* * *

To be completely honest, 2017 feels like one of the most frightening years ever for me because of the possibility of so much movement and change unfolding in just one year (and some of them, all at the same time). But I also need to remind myself that I asked for all of this. I applied and accepted challenges and said “yes” to each of these, so it’s really a case of,“Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.” 

With all these in mind, I think the Ultimate Question I ought to ask myself throughout the year is this: What will you do to be worthy of these gifts that you’re being given for the year? And how will you use all that to serve others and live up to your life purpose?

I’ll have 52 weeks to create my own answers. I sure hope they’ll be as awesome as the marbles in that goblet!

~ N

*The church is called Church Simplified, based in Makati City in Manila, Philippines. You can find out more about them through their website, Facebook page, Instagram account, and even on SoundCloud.

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