As I’ve sat and reflected on the coming New Year, there are a few goals I would like to accomplish. I have always been one to make resolutions — a resolution to lose weight, spend more time with my family, be more organized, simplify, eat better, sleep more, and be more patient and loving. But as each year has come and gone, I have found that, for the most part, my resolutions remained unmet, and I was left confused, angry at myself, and unmotivated to continue the journey.
I have always been an “all-or-nothing” person. And when I fall short, I can tend to be hard on myself. If I come even a tad shy of reaching my goals, it isn’t good enough. I tend to look more at what I didn’t do, rather than looking at how far I have come. Maybe I didn’t lose 50lbs.–I lost 10–but it still isn’t enough. Or maybe I don’t have the energy to organize every room in my home, but there is one that is looking pretty good. Still, I fall short. Or perhaps I am not as patient with my children as I should be, but I am doing better, but still… in my eyes, I’ve failed.
Over the last week, I have spent time with the Lord and asked, “What is it that YOU want me to do”?
And as I’ve allowed Him to speak to my heart, I have had to ask myself how strong is my resolve. Am I really determined to meet these goals, or are they just words? Am I committed to doing what it takes to cross the finish line? It will take sacrifice, time and energy. Am I willing to make the investment now to see a greater return in the future?
As I was reading about resolve, I came across this definition:
Resolve – turn, change, be transformed (verb)
And then the light came on. I don’t have to do these things on my own. Sure, I could make resolutions, decisions and commitments about all sorts of things in my life. But what is it that God wants me to do? Am I willing to turn and walk a new direction, allowing myself to be transformed into the image of Christ in the process? I just love how The Message translation lays out this scripture in Romans:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 – The Message)
As I prepare to sit down and write out my goals for 2011, I can do so now from a place of freedom. God’s desire is to walk with me, in partnership, and help me to accomplish all that He’s put on my heart. But my first resolution has to be to fix my attention on God, setting my eyes on Him. Without this, I cannot accomplish anything. The strength of my resolve is in the strength of my focus on the Lord.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8 – NIV)
So in these first days of 2011, I will place my goals before Him as an offering, asking for His help and leading. I will fix my attention on Him and will not become distracted. When I do this, I cannot fail!