Walk through any grocery or department store and you know right away that it’s New Year’s Resolution time, isn’t it? The front displays all relate to weight loss and home organization. Everyone seems to be exercising more, eating less and cutting the clutter. Admittedly, I usually jump on the resolution bandwagon, and take the opportunity to renew some healthy habits left off a few months back when life’s busy days got the best of me. And admittedly, the commitment usually trails off a few months in and we’re back to where we started.
My husband has a different perspective this time of year, and it got me thinking this week. He adamantly refuses to make any New Year’s resolutions and resists the concept entirely. Here’s why: he says if a change is that important, then it should be that important any day of the year. It shouldn’t take a change of the calendar year to get you to do it if it’s really worth doing.
I see great value in taking the turn of the year to reflect on God’s blessings in the year gone past. And I see value in renewing a personal vision and commitment with expectation for the coming year. But I think the key may be in Chris’ thinking that this level of commitment should sustain itself throughout the year.
Maybe the opportunity to reflect and renew should be taken every morning, rather than just at year’s end.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
So maybe our New Year’s Resolution should be to make a “New Day’s Resolution” everyday.
And that new day’s resolution should start with a reflection on the LORD’s great love and compassion in the day before. Reflecting on God’s faithfulness for yesterday strengthens our trust to know He will be faithful for today. Then our response to His love, compassion and faithfulness becomes our vision and commitment for the day. We then go out to serve out of the overflow of our hearts, seeking His glory and not our own.
Our new day’s resolution may include a healthy eating and exercise plan, not to achieve body perfection, but to be better fit to serve God and others.
Our new day’s resolution may include a home organization project, not to achieve earthly praise, but to better serve our family and create order and peace in our home.
And our new day’s resolution should always include a time of prayer and Bible Study, not to check off a to-do list, but to better conform our hearts and minds to God’s will.
If you’re like me, the end of the day finds you pretty much beat. We’ve taken care of ourselves, our families (should we list all the laundry, carpools, and meals?), and our work and church responsibilities. I love putting on cozy pajamas and climbing in my soft bed- and resting. Then, assuming no middle of the night dog or kid crisis, I awake in the morning ready to start a fresh day.
How about we try and make the refreshed start of the day a refreshed vision and commitment for serving Christ? Could we take our shower time and use it for drinking of the Living Water and letting Christ’s healing and forgiveness pour over us? Could we take our getting dressed and be reminded to put on our new self- clothed in His righteousness?
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24
Experts agree on the value of both short- and long-term goals. Maybe there is a combination of a New Year’s Resolution that sets a bigger direction for our lives and a shorter-term daily commitment renewal that keeps us moving towards that vision in realistic achievable steps.
I pray we would begin each day renewed- with a new song in our hearts and on our lips- ready to serve the Lord with fresh commitment. I pray we would seek a fresh vision as this new year begins- watching on high for His guiding hand. And I pray we would rest at each day’s end to praise the One who is “making everything new.” (Revelation 21:5)
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night. Psalm 92:1-2