New Year's resolutions . . . promises, hopes, dreams for perfection to come. Bah Humbug! Let's see this year, I resolve to lose 20 pounds . . . but have to finish off all the Christmas cookies, candies, fudge, and New Year's party food. Sigh, well that's an extra few pounds. Forget that.
Let's try . . . I will not incur any credit card debt and pay off the credit cards. Oh, except for I have to get new bedding in the January white sales . . . and they are selling off all the winter clothes at clearance and that dress I really wanted might be on sale now. So, I'll just get those and then . . . .
Let's try . . . I will organize my home so that everything has a place and nothing will get out of place--get rid of all the clutter. Okay, does that mean I have to go through the storage boxes? Nope, just leave them alone. Hmmm, where is the . . . third box to the left? No, bottom box in the middle. Nope. Oh, here it is in the next stack over. I'll come back and sort all of these later . . . hmm so that's where that was. I haven't seen this for a while. Oh, I'd been looking for . . . I'll unpack these later. For now I'll just put them back.
I resolve . . . what is a good resolution? I've got it. I will spend less time on social media. Let's go to the settings and . . . hmmm. J Lo has a new show, I'll just watch one clip . . . cute cat--I bet R would love that one. Who did what? I've got to read that article. How to make . . . I'll save it for later . . . wow, has it really been two hours? I've got to get busy after one last game of Candy Crush.
Resolutions. Goals. If only we could get smart about them--you know specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The desire to change, to improve, to grow is admirable. Unfortunately we rarely think about the steps to get to our lofty goals.
To desire world peace is fabulous. So how do we achieve it? Start with self. Start with the places of influence in our lives. Choose not to retaliate. Learn all we can about situations. Don't judge. Listen. Listen some more. Stop talking and listen again . . . not just to the words being said, but to what is unsaid.
The Rich Young Ruler came to Jesus wanting more out of his life. He lived by the law. He obeyed the rules that regulated his life, but it wasn't enough. He need to love God with ALL his heart, mind, and soul . . . and his neighbor as himself. That is so much more that following the rules . . . the plan by which society lived.
It is easy to lose our way. It is easy to make a goal with no thought of how to achieve it. We don't really expect to achieve the New Year Resolutions . . . we just want them to sound like we are in control. But life happens and we forget and return to the old ways.
So, this year . . . I resolve to walk with God; to learn more of God; to listen to that still speaking quiet voice of God urging me to live less for self . . . and to forgive myself every time I fail. I give up my "best laid plans" and will follow God's ways instead.
Loving One, help me to attune my mind and attention to you. Help me open my ears to hear your voice. I desire to open my eyes and see others as you see them . . . with the eyes of love. I give up my plans and seek your ways. So be it. Amen.