On January 1, I dusted off and opened up my One-Year Bible.
On January 5, my eyes grew wide as I read that Adam lived 930 years. (I had forgotten that people used to live so long!)
Can you imagine the opportunities for improvement if you were able to make eight or 900 New Year’s resolutions? I thought to myself.
Wait a second! was my next thought. I realized I was believing I had the power to change myself, and would—if I just had more time. (As if time is my greatest enemy!)
I don’t like to think I’m my greatest enemy. That I’m evil. Certainly not the Genesis 6:5–6 kind of evil, anyway:
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain (emphasis added).
I so easily forget Jesus’ words, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” I rationalize and excuse until “nothing” soon means, “just a few BIG things.”
So, you ask, does this mean that I didn’t make any resolutions this year? On the contrary. I love New Year’s resolutions. (Not that I believe they can only be made at New Year’s.) I am a huge fan of purposeful, reflective living.
In fact, this year I began journaling and asking God for direction by the middle of December. On January 1—sitting in my $25 overstuffed chair that I bought during Barnes and Noble’s moving sale—God answered just in time. My New Year’s resolution (yes, I consider it one resolution with four sub-points):
1. Ruthlessly resist self-pity.
2. Enthusiastically embrace singleness as a gift from God. (“Enthusiastically” was quite the stretch for me!)
3. Trust God with my love life.
4. Pour all that energy I would have poured into thinking about my love life into cultivating my love relationship with God.
The thing I really like about this year’s resolution?
It’s totally God-sized, utterly impossible, and I know upfront I’m going to fail!
But I also read that, “A righteous man falls seven times and gets back up.”
And, I know that I am deeply loved by my God, that He has the power I need to live this way each day, that when I fail, He will help me back up.
Why am I sharing all this with you? I guess for a couple reasons:
1. To remind you that YOU CAN’T DO IT on your own. Period. But you have an awesome Savior who will cheer you along the way, give you His strength, and pick you up when you fall.
2. To encourage you that IT’S NEVER TOO LATE to seek God about how He wants to change you—even if the New Year has begun, or the snow has disappeared from the ground, or you think you’ve failed one too many times.
So, how about you? What New Year’s resolution did you make? If you didn’t make one, will you ask God how He’d like to change you this year? (I’d love to hear from each of you!)