A New Year's Resolution Reality Check

Sunday, December 28, 2014

reality check sign
As we enter the last few days of 2014 I'm sure most of us have been thinking about the coming new year. I love this time of year because it holds the promise of new beginnings; of a fresh start; a renewed desire to make things better. This is what compels us to write our annual list of New Year's resolutions. It is an attempt to set our sights higher and to somehow become better people as we move forward.

In the midst of this new-found momentum we seem to always find ourselves fighting that familiar Ogre of regret and disappointment over failed resolutions from last year - those goals that we somehow lost sight of somewhere along the way over the course of months gone by - goals that are left unfinished due to our inattention and busyness.

To make this mixture of excitement and guilt worse, we are inundated by the yearly letters sent by friends and relatives touting not only their own seemingly superhuman accomplishments but of their equally perfect and overachieving spouses and children. This leads us to feverishly type away to accomplish our first great achievement of the year - 100 New Year's Resolutions for 2015! Don't forget that this has to be done before the annual All-Church 40-day Prayer and Fasting Extravaganza combined with the annual Read Through the Entire Bible Campaign and the annual Faith Promise Offeirng Pledge.

Whew! I'm already exhausted and we haven't even started the new year yet. The older I get the more I realize how much a lot of what we do as Christians is motivated out of pride and quilt. Isn't it ironic that in our quest to improve we actually sabotage our ability to move forward in our spiritual walk? I think it is because we are trying to do things "for" God rather than just "being" the person God wants us to be. We must remember that what is important is not what I do but who I am!

As I have been contemplating this I have put together what I am calling my New Year's Resolution Reality Check List. I am feeling challenged to do more by actually doing less. This may sound like I am lowering the bar but when you read it I think you will find that it quite actually raises the bar. This year I will strive to do less for God so that I can let him do more in me. This will actually take a lot more work on my part as I will have to constantly get out of his way and let him do what I can't. I believe this is what John the Baptist meant when he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30 - ESV)

Here is my Reality Check list:

1. I will not try to be perfect.
2. I will not stress out over things I have no control over.
3. I will allow myself room to fail.
4. I will not worry about what others think of me.
5. I will relinquish control over my life to God and let him take the reigns.
6. I will slow down and enjoy today and worry about tomorrow in the morning.
7. I will take more time investing in people instead of things.
8. I will spend more time changing myself instead of trying to change others.
9. I will give myself permission to cry more.
10. I will laugh a lot more.

This is a tough list and I know that I simply do not have the ability to accomplish it. But if I let him, God will work his change in me so that I can make all ten of these a reality in my daily life and as a result, I will become a much better person in the process.

Happy New Year to you and your household and may God increase as you decrease.

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