New Year's Resolution
One of our pastors, in the "confession" part of a pastoral prayer last weekend, led us to pray along the lines that we would do the things we keep talking about doing but don't do. That has been a lot of the theme of my hours since then, as I have been examining where I am, who I am, and where I am going.
The fact of the matter is that we -- I -- simply do not have enough time to do all the things it would be nice to do if time and energy were unlimited, and to be everything I could be in a world without limits. I have the ability to envision and plan much more than I am capable of actually executing.
Even the tedious things of life compete for time and energy. We must eat, drink, sleep, move, do laundry, pick up, pay bills, sort through old stuff to make room for new stuff, etc . . .
So a lot of the things I talk about doing must remain undone as long as the things I do spend my time and energy on are properly God's priorities for my time and energy. We live on fixed budgets, whether we like it or not!
So my New Year's Resolution this year is just this: I will continue to do my best to walk closely enough with my Lord so that I can let Him reinforce my priorities when they are the ones He wants me to have and so that He finds it easy to correct me and change my priorities when they don't accomplish His best.
Much of that looks like mediocrity these days to others . . . but to me it looks like living on a budget and not failing to have money for all the basics because I've spent foolishly on things not needed. I wish I could have it all and do it all! But, since I can't, I must neglect the values of the world and the values of my friends and family and even the values of the evangelical community when they fly in the face of the values and priorities that He Himself is teaching me.
We don't have to have what it would take to impress the group of people that we currently would like to impress. We don't have to have what it would take to feel like we've given our families everything a parent should give. We don't have to be anything we've been trained to pursue being -- not successful, not fit, not popular, not financially secure, not responsible, not accomplished, not even "well-balanced and healthy" by anyone's definition other than His. We do have to learn to hear Him and learn to love Him and learn to obey Him. We do have to learn His priorities and learn to let our primary motivations be His glory and His fellowship. We do have to stay in training for His purposes.
I cannot make myself the woman God wants me to be, either today or at the end of this coming 2008 . . . no matter my resolutions and no matter my self-discipline in following them.
I can resolve to take what I am given in this minute, and trust it every minute throughout the coming year:
Romans 12 reminds me that God will make me into a new person by changing how I think!
Philippians 3 reminds me that everything else in life is worthless when compared with the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and pursuing Him!
John 14 reminds me that I cannot do anything apart from my connection to Jesus and His love, and that obedience to Him is focused primarily on loving others as He loves me, out of that place of being His beloved . . .
So my resolution this year is to do the "stand firm" part of the last chapter of Ephesians, over and over . . . and to diligently make sure I have done the first part and not discarded any of my armor along the way somehow.
I cannot make myself what He desires me to be. But I can show up again and again to have Him do His work!
That is my New Year's Resolution.