It’s that time of year again. Time for self examination and self determination...a.k.a. New Years Resolutions. How does it come around again so quick? Surely it hasn’t been a whole year since I examined all of my flaws and resolved to at least pick one to eliminate. Of course, instead of eliminating it, it has only become more glaringly obvious. In fact, I pretty much resolved not to make any resolutions any more. I’m tired of setting myself up for failure. However, that doesn’t stop my mind from thinking about what I would resolve IF I thought I might want to maybe sorta try and do something. Perhaps. Possibly...
There is something about a new year that just begs a reflection on the past one, at least in my mind. Not allowing myself to ponder it a little is like trying not to blink. Eventually the urge just overtakes me. Before I know it, I am wallowing in disgust and disappointment at my lack of ...anything... and feeling compelled to renew that commitment once again. Why is change so hard?
Well, I have at least come to realize that any change apart from the help of God Almighty is pretty unattainable. Even when I sort of muster some up on my own, it is about as flimsy as cheap wrapping paper. And, honestly, even when I allow the Lord to help me accomplish a little something, the right way, at some point I will inevitably take my eyes off of Him and high-five myself. My hands are still stinging from the smack when I have stumbled back to square one. When Paul wrote those words in Romans 7:18-20 concerning always doing what we should not do, instead of what we know we should do he was pretty much summing up my life of eating too many sweets and avoiding exercise. In fact, there's a picture of me, next to this verse, in the original Greek text.
So, what’s a failure like me to do? Throw my hands up in the air, flop on the couch and grab a few cookies? Well, that doesn’t sound half bad except I know deep down that with God all things are possible. I know that He who has started a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. I know that through Christ we are more than conquerors. I know God’s word is faithful and true and I can keep coming to it’s truth and clinging to it and renewing my tired out, flabby mind and finding ever-present help in my times of trouble.
Eating unhealthy foods and avoiding exercise may seem like piddly things on a spiritual scale, but that is where my battle continually lies. Ultimately it is about my character. I have grown up choosing to only do those things that come easily for me. I was a skinny, lazy junk food junky. Now it is time to grow up and I know that as I commit, once again, to letting the Lord reign over ALL of my life, it will inevitably spill over into other parts in multifaceted ways.
What are your struggles? What habits have you decided you can afford to live with, or that you just can’t seem to live without? I hope you will allow yourself honesty before God (and perhaps with yourself) and also the vulnerability with others (i.e. close friends, or... a blog that you know others will read and learn your deepest, darkest secrets...) because having some accountability will go a long way toward helping you reach your goals or conquer your fears. Trying and failing keeps us humble, but trying again after failing so many times and THEN succeeding...well, I can’t wait to find out what that’s like!