Monday, January 3, 2011

new year's resolutions

New Year's Resolutions . . . often they are made with the best of intentions. We want the new year to be better in some way than the previous year. But, how often do we get to the end of January and find that we have not kept any of them? And as we look at that list of things we intended to do, but failed to do for even one month, it is pretty easy to get completely discouraged.

As I was reflecting on 2010 and looking ahead to 2011 in the last couple of weeks, I found myself looking at New Year's Resolutions in a different way than I have in the past. Rather than making a list of things I wanted to change for 2011 that I would try to do on my own, I asked God what He wanted for me in the coming year. Out of that came a much shorter list. A list that seems must easier to manage for a year, but is in many ways more difficult than what I would have put on the list myself. The difference is that I know that God wants me to do this and that He will be the One who makes me able to do this. I cannot do it on my own. That I know, from my attempts at New Year's Resolutions in the past. But, with God directing this one I know that I can.

Having this one thing that I know God has for me in this coming year does not mean that I am not open to anything else God may bring my way. As I reflected on 2010, there were many things that God brought to me that I never would have guessed and that were challenging, but were worth embracing with God. I know that 2011 will be the same. God will bring things my way that I have no idea about now, and if He told me about them now, I would probably do my best to avoid them. But, when they come, it will be the right timing.

Maybe you are one of those people who refuses to make New Year's Resolutions anymore because you have never kept them before. And, really, who wants to get to the end of January (or sooner) and feel like they have failed because they have not kept nay of their New Year's Resolutions. But, maybe, you can stop and ask God for one thing that He has for you this year.

Having just one thing does not necessarily mean that it will be easier than any other year has been. When we are following through with what God wants for us, that can seem more difficult if we try to do it in our own strength. But, with God, it is do-able.

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