And so it begins. New Years Resolutions. In just a few days, gyms will be packed out; budgets will be printed and taped to refrigerators; and fast-food drive thru’s will be ghost towns.
For like, a week and a half.
Unless of course, you’re a part of the mystical 8% who actually accomplish their New Years Resolutions. If so, we all admire you
and secretly despise you.
And talk about you behind your back.
For most of us, it only takes a few weeks before we ditch our New Years Resolutions and fall back into a state of guilt surrounded by a mountain of empty Oreo containers. It’s pretty frustrating, and borderline depressing, when every year you set a goal and fail to meet it.
Which is why my New Years Resolution for 2016 is: stop making New Years Resolutions.
Seriously. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results? So why do we participate in this silly little song and dance every year? This time, I’m punting on it. I’m not making a New Years Resolutions — but I’m also not settling on being the same person next year as I was this year.
2015 Paul was okay. He had his moments, good and bad. But 2016 Paul is the future.
Instead of settling for the status quo — like expanding waistlines, the shackles of consumer debt, and binge watching Netflix Originals — I’m going to make a commitment.
In 2016, I’m going to build where God is building.
If this sounds weird, allow me to explain. I’m trying to follow a concept found in Psalm 127. Here’s what it says: Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It seems like the Psalmist (King Solomon) believes that the only things worth doing in life are things God is involved with. You can build the greatest castle the world has ever known — but if God isn’t involved with it — the sands of time eventually wash it away. There’s also this implication in this text, at least for me, that says God’s blessings only apply to the things He’s involved with.
What if the reason we fail so often with our New Years Resolutions is because we’re trying to build something God wants no part of?
When the only reason you’re trying to lose is weight is so you can feel better about yourself, or even the inherent health benefits, it’s easy to give up. After all, you’ve made it this long like this, what’s another year or two? But if God is building something in your life — through your health. If He’s asking you to get in shape because He has a plan in all of it — there’s a blessing that goes with His call. And now, if you give up, you’re not just giving up on yourself, you’re giving up on God.
Which is like, not the best idea.
I’ve often found in my life that there are seasons where the spotlight of God shines on a specific area. It’s like He’s trying to prepare me for something to come. So this year, instead of arbitrarily picking what I think needs a tune-up, I’m going to resist the societal pressure of making a resolution and instead take the time to pray and seek what God is building in my life.
And then I’m committing to those things. Instead of picking what areas of my life I want to overhaul — I’m choosing to run everything through one lens: is God involved with this? Maybe instead of holding to some more rules and regulations, I’ll have better luck committing to what God is creating.
I don’t know. Just a thought.
Now if you’ll excuse me,
I only have a few more days
to finish off this sleeve of Oreos.
soli deo gloria
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