New Year’s Resolutions don’t work because people expect immediate perfection. Then, the first moment they slip, they throw their hands in the air & say, “Well, I just blew it!”, abandoning their cause and continuing back into old habits.
One synonym of “resolution” is determination. Resolutions are about determination to change, not perfection – and the only way to succeed is to understand that change is a progress…a journey with bumps in the road, set-backs, and slip-ups. In fact, resolutions are much like the journey of a road trip. We have a goal in mind – a final destination. We’ve planned out our route, gathered all the materials needed for our journey, and pumped ourselves up for a fabulous trip. The ride starts out smooth – no traffic, the car’s full of gas, our favorite tunes blare through the speakers. The weather’s nice and so are other drivers, who graciously let you pass by, waving hello as you speed ahead.
Then, about halfway into the journey, it happens. The wind blows a little stronger, the clouds darken, and little drifts of snow begin to fall on the windshield. By the time you reach Flagstaff, the snow flurries have turned into a full-blown blizzard. This sudden change in weather forces an early stop. Hopefully, it will be clear by morning. But upon waking, you see that the snow fell all night long and now piles half way up your car tires, trapping you in. You never expected this…mainly because you forgot to check the weather ahead of time, therefore you didn’t plan for it. You have no heavy jacket…only t-shirts and a light wind coat (which is all that is required for your sunny stay in San Francisco). The car is not equipped with tire chains, or ice scapers. Do you give up and head back home? Do you just throw your hands up and say, “Well, I blew it – no vacation for us!” NO! Because you’re DETERMINED to make it to your destination, you problem solve…such as using the hotel room’s plastic flyer stand as an ice scraper! (true story by the way)
The trip wasn’t perfection. You forgot to plan accordingly and problems arose (some in your control, some not). Either way, you persevered! You didn’t make it to your destination at the anticipated time, but you still made it.
One of the problems that I’ve had is that I give up too early. I’ve been that person I described above who throws their hands up quickly. So this year, my resolution is slightly different. Instead of making specific resolutions like “lose weight” or “quit procrastinating”, I’ve resolved to be more disciplined – in all area of my life: health, relationships, Bible intake, prayer, meditation, work.
I started thinking about this last Sunday when our Pastor read 1 Corinthians 9:23-25 :
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
I pictured the Christian life as a race, and myself as an athlete, then asked myself…“Am I running is such a way as to get the prize? If I was to compete, would I win?”
Honestly, I’m not doing bad…I’m now pursuing His will more than I have in a long while. I know that God is pleased with me…but I know I could be doing more….Training more for His work and what He has planned for me. I’m not as disciplined in my life as an athlete is disciplined for his race. If I was…WOW…imagine the things God could do in and through me! Everything would change…gradually. The more I discipline myself daily to seek the Lord and His ways, the more I will see God work.