By Dan Hall


Kitchen Tune-Up


Leading 2018 by the hand into 2019


Anyone who knows me knows my love for astronomy. I used to crawl out my window as a boy (against my parents’ directives, sorry dad!), lying on the roof of my house to study the stars and constellations. With all the amazing discoveries of the Hubble telescope, Voyager 1, Kepler, etc. our universe’s magnitude and magnificence continue to take my breath away 40+ years later. And with it, even greater awe of the Creator.


This picture from the space station shows the furthest man has been “detached in outer space” (100 yds). Wouldn’t that be cool?! And wouldn’t it also be terrifying?! You see, as much as I would love the freedom to fly through the universe untethered, I also need attachment. In fact, I MUST remain tethered if I want to stay alive!


Bear with me here.


When I was a pastor, it was incumbent upon me every year at this time to do a message on “leaving it behind.” It’s a great message, and often a needed one. But may I take a different tack?


As much as we want to compartmentalize — that is, to leave the year behind to get into the next — it could also be unfruitful or even detrimental. As much as I want to be untethered from 2018, my 2019 is not extractable from it. And that is true for the relationship between every year in our lives.


You see, whatever adjective we use to define our year (good, bad, hard, etc.), our actions and decisions within the year form more of who we are.


Let me be clear: there are EVENTS that I certainly don’t want to experience again if it is up to me! But who I am this year cannot be separated from how I chose last year.


And that is a very exciting prospect! That means that everything that happens in my life becomes an opportunity to grow even more into the person I was created and redeemed to be. It means that if I made mistakes last year, I can learn from them, thank God for grace and add it to my “not next time” list. If I had bad things happen, I can rejoice that I made it through because of God’s grace. If I felt deep pain, I am grateful that my capacity for empathy and understanding has been expanded


So, what have you learned this year? What have you experienced? What new perspective have you gained? What new truth have you embraced that you don’t want to ever lose? Who have you grown to love more? What mistake do you not want to repeat?


We can’t untether from 2018, at least not for very long. It will be a part of who we are the rest of our lives. We will either fear it or we will embrace it. So absorb all of it — the good, the bad, the joys, the sorrows — take it by the hand and lead it into 2019 with purpose, confidence and knowledge that God is working His purposes in and through you.


We can’t untether from 2018, so let’s EMBRACE it!



Dan Hall is an executive and strategic coach to leaders and executive teams. He also works with organizations on Teambuilding, Conflict Resolution and Communication Skills. He and his wife Hazel have six children and four grandchildren. You can reach him at

Pro-Life Mississippi