A few thoughts that I didn’t get to flesh out in this week’s message…
I’ve never been much for New Years’ Resolutions. I used to make a few each year and for a significant portion of my life, was undeterred by the fact that I usually violated my resolutions within 48 hours of making them.
It didn’t matter. I’d just tell myself I’d do better next time and wait another 363 days.
Obviously, New Years Day is not the only good day to make resolutions. Birthdays, anniversaries or really any old time you feel like making some changes works just fine. But there’s something about New Years Day that draws us in. It’s kinda like the start of the school year, but for grownups.
Remember the first day of school? New notebooks and school supplies, maybe some new sneakers, and most importantly – new teachers and a new class. A chance to make a new beginning. Clean slate and all that. In other words – no presuppositions. Few grammar school children would vocalize it as such, but what we all felt way back then was the thrill of the opportunity to re-define ourselves.
New Years Day offers us a chance to re-define ourselves. To say goodbye to all the bad choices we made in the past year and make a clean break. I’m a huge fan of this. So why don’t I make resolutions? I do. I just don’t wait until New Years Day – I make resolutions daily. I think what God set us up for is a daily set of resolutions, not just an annual self-promise to do better followed closely by a crash-and-burn fest.
Did you make some resolutions? That’s fantastic. Stick to ‘em. Did you resolve and then fail already? Don’t sweat it. Tomorrow’s a new day and God’s mercies are new every morning.
Perhaps it’s time for a little priority check. Lists and goals are great. I’m a fan. But maybe our benchmark should change. Maybe instead of asking “Am I accomplishing all my goals and checking off all the things on my list?” we should be asking: “Do I like who I am becoming?”
And a closing word to all of you who have failed at this so often that you’ve given up trying – the great thing about God’s love is that you don’t have to earn it. In fact, you can’t. Quit living under the shadow of failed attempts to measure up and be the person God called you to be in RESPONSE to His love – not in an attempt to do better this time around and earn it.
Live in that truth, and you’ll find that God isn’t just an item on your list, or a compartment of your life – you’ll find that He’s at the center – holding everything together.
So, in response to the fact that God loves me, I intend to resolve daily to live my life on purpose. To be ruthless in the elimination of busyness from my life so that I can be fully present with the things that are right in front of me. I’ve got a lot of other things I should make resolutions on, but if I can come to the end of 2012 having pulled off just that one thing, it will have been a year well spent.
Happy New Year, everyone.
PS – Did you make any New Years’ Resolutions this year? Leave a comment & share what they are!!