As we begin this new year, people everywhere are making resolutions and promises that this year something will be different … this year I will change … this year there will be new me. We all know resolutions are a wonderful way to set goals and strive toward improving ourselves or some aspect of our lives. But we also know, all too well, that two or three weeks or even months from now, our resolve will have eroded some and our aspirations will lower a bit, and ‘real life’ will push things back toward old habits and behaviors.
I, too, have fallen victim to over-ambitious resolutions and less than stellar will power in February and beyond. So in the past few years, I have started lowering my expectations. I don’t need an all new ‘me’ – I happen to like ‘me’ pretty much the way that I am – wrinkles, rolls, and all. I don’t need more money, a nicer car, a smaller dress size, or less caffeine to appreciate that. I will still strive toward making healthier choices and honoring my Lord with my life, but He is really all that I need.
Phillipians 3:10-14 says “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Forgetting what is behind. Straining toward what is ahead. Two things that can be very hard to do when you don’t have every confidence that what is ahead is so much sweeter than anything we can imagine here. But the Lord gave us this amazing gift of life not to live so well that we mourn passing moments but to savor and still strive toward what awaits us in heaven. It’s a new year. Forget what is behind. Strain toward what is ahead. It is so worth it.
My resolutions now are about spending more time in the Bible and inviting more friends to my church. I try to think more about eternal blessings than instant gratification. They focus on taking the time to walk through every aisle of the toy store with my son and listening to my daughter sing while she does her homework in the other room. They include holding my husband’s hand more often and letting our eldest make some of her own mistakes. Those are the things that make my heart smile – and in doing that I am a happier child of God. Hopefully that reflects out to those whose paths I cross and shines a positive light on my heavenly Father.
Resolving to live less me and more Him,