Why a New Year’s Resolution?
The beginning of a new year is exciting…January 1! Most people see boundless opportunities and fresh prospects. In short, most individuals see a brand new start. The important question is Weren’t those potentials possible on December 15, or July 25, or March 1 of the previous year? Of course they were! So, this leads me to the question, Why do we wait until the beginning of a new year to make a new resolution?
Ok. A resolution according to Oxford Dictionaries is a firm decision to do or not to do something; it is the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. Learning a word a day, going back to school, getting that book published, eating healthier, exercising regularly, losing weight, working a little less (LOL!), praying and reading the Bible, going to church, and being with the kids more, are great promises to make to oneself. They all solve some conundrum or another. However, what happens when life intervenes and you have already reneged on such a personal promise (or resolution) by February 1? Do you wait until January 1 of the coming year to try again, or do you start again on February 2? Do you wait a year to solve your problem, or begin solving it the next day? I hope the latter answers are yours.
Life is not linear. It does not occur in straight lines. We start in one direction, and then because of a personal obstruction, like a new physical disability, we have to detour left. We adjust to our new path, but we are moving slower than before. We are just picking up speed again when we see someone who needs our help. We stop and help. By the time we are finished helping, a new problem with our finances makes us detour right; but we begin again. We are moving at the speed of light, and then we are hurt emotionally by a parent’s passing. We have to stop. It is hard for us to restart without the support of our parent. We have many false starts. We sputter like a broken down jalopy. However, with prayer we are able to begin again, but we can no longer walk in the left lane, because we are moving slower. Over time, our heart is healed where we can move easier. We switch to the left lane and commence to move towards our destination like wild fire. Prejudice, jealousy, and hatred raise their heads and make us take a U turn and get on another path. Yet, we shall not be stopped from making our destination. Finally, we see our target, just down the road. Then a miscarriage, a mortgage lien, and the loss of a job send us spinning. When we stop, we don’t know which path will lead to our destination. It is at this time we remember our scriptures from ESV: Job 6:24, “Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.” Lamentations 3:26, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Also Psalm 37:7, 46:10, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” We wait. God shows us what path to take to reach our destination. We enter into our hard fought purpose with a great sense of accomplishment. We traversed hills, mountains, rivers, valleys, deserts, cities, countries, etc. but we made it. However, we know that making it to this destination only begins a new resolution!
For this New Year, make resolutions. Have patience with yourself, and rely on our heavenly father as you strive to accomplish said resolutions; and when that resolution is achieved jump into a new one—even though it is not at the beginning of the year.
This is one perspective. What’s yours?