Every year I watch so many friends and family members make resolutions to change or make their lives better in some small way. Some will exercise everyday or at least once a month, others decide to take up a new hobby while others try to cut sugar (or another bad habit) out of their lives. For as long as I can remember I don’t make resolutions every year because the points of failure are far too high. It’s like those that pray, "God I will go to church every Sunday if you just do [insert your demand here].” In much the same way God is not a genie meant to grant us all our wishes as we rub the magic lamp, so resolutions are exactly the same thing. They are vows that we take for ourselves to start something by quitting something else cold turkey.
Checking Off Tasks
I challenge you to take your resolutions one step further and visualize the goal. What do you want to accomplish this next year or in years to come? Visualize that goal in your head then start writing a list of how you will achieve that goal. Set yourself up for success rather than failure. In much the same way God builds into us to make mold us into the model of His Son, Jesus Christ, we so should take that example to heart and build into ourselves piece by piece the goals we want to achieve. The goal you set for yourself can be anything. For example, one of my friends on Facebook has taken up the challenge to not go on Facebook for a year, which is a very large undertaking. Several years ago I had decided to remove myself from the Facebook universe for a few months. However, the original goal was not to spend less time on Facebook, rather it was to spend more time with my wife and when I started putting the pieces together of what I was spending more time doing Facebook ended up front and center. So I said goodbye. I had set the goal in my mind of what I wanted to achieve and set the tasks to achieve that goal. Unlike resolutions the goals that I set for myself must be re-evaluated every few months to make sure I am on the right track, then establish new goals or change existing ones to fit those changes.
In Luke, when Christ talked about becoming one His disciples he gave several good examples of ‘counting costs’ and preparing for the undertaking. It profits us nothing to not first count the cost of our endeavors or preparing for them.
"For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14: 28-33 (ESV)
Thankful For Life Changes
We can either except the changes in our lives as blessings or burdens and those outlooks can determine whether or not we will succeed in other avenues of our lives. I never anticipated ever being ready to be a good father when my daughter was born and at first I was terrified the closer my wife came to the due date. However, standing in the hospital room with my daughter in my arms changed all those fears into an unspeakable joy. I wrote in length the first few weeks of my daughters life outside the womb about what I would teach her and what she would grow up to be. Though in reality none of those things mattered as long as she accepted Jesus into her heart one day.
- My wife and her unflinching determination at being a great Mom
- My daughter for smiling at me every day
- For God not giving up on me
- Having a good job
- Being a live