New Year's Resolutions 2.0

Sunday, January 1, 2017

road ahead 2017

We have now begun a new year and we are full of anticipation of what lies ahead, of a fresh start and new horizons. Many, if not all, are already working hard to accomplish new resolutions, pregnant with a growing motivation and determination that this year will be better than last. As I read the latest Facebook status updates and Tweets, by far the vast majority are being dedicated to the subject of New Year's resolutions. This is all good. It reminds me of the character of God as his word tells us in Lamentations that his mercies are new every morning. He is the God of new horizons and fresh starts.

I do struggle with the whole notion of New Year's resolutions though, not because I think they are wrong, but because I wonder if we have lost sight of something more important. I think if we were all honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that most of our goals for the new year tend to be self-serving in the end with the goal of being better off this year than last year. New Year's resolutions always begin with the word "I" and that is symptomatic of the underlying problem. We have just finished a 60-day gorge fest. It started on October 31 with Halloween, a holiday designed solely for the purpose of going door-to-door to get as much stuff as possible throwing much of away. Then came Thanksgiving one month later, another holiday where Americans gorge themselves with food we don't need and can't possibly finish. Again, we end up throwing away more food than we could possibly eat. Then, the finale is Christmas where we get more stuff we don't need, only to end up at the return line at the mall to trade that stuff in for the stuff we really wanted. Then we make our list of resolutions of how we are going to do more, accomplish more, and be better in the coming year.

No, I'm not in a bad mood because I didn't get what I wanted for Christmas. I'm just pointing out something that is in our blind spot. The poorest in America are far more incredibly wealthy compared to the vast population of the rest of the world. Millions wake up every morning with only one goal - to simply survive that day. They have nothing. We, on the other hand, have everything we could ever need, yet find ourselves on a quest for more.

What if this year, instead of asking God for more, we just simply tried to do better with what He's already given us? Instead of making an annual list of expected accomplishments, why not find a way to make better use of what we already have, become better where we are now, and become the best person we can be with the resources already at our disposal? The Lord is challenging me to make this one of my goals this year - to find ways to lift up the people around me, to encourage them and invest in them, to use my resources to benefit them instead of me. I have a sneaky suspicion that in the process, I will somehow be transformed myself. I don't need more stuff, more gadgets, or more activity. There is still so much left undone.

I'm tired of making my New Year's list. I want to discover what is on God's list for me and just focus on that. Our best laid plans fail because they are our plans, not God's. I want to say again that I'm not against making resolutions or setting personal goals. We should do that. I'm simply pointing out the fact that as humans, we tend to get off track with good intentions. My prayer for you is that in this new year, God would reveal to you what he is already at work doing in you and that his plans would become your plans.

Happy New Year!

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RosieD said...

Beautifully true David :) I have always been blessed by you and your sincere desire to be used by God.

David Good said...

Thank you Rosie. I am thankful that my blog is a blessing to you. Have a blessed and happy New Year!

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