As I get ready to go out this week and celebrate the New Year with friends and family, I have been thinking about New Year’s resolutions (don’t we all?). I look back on the past year and think of all the accomplishments and shortfalls, successes and failures, I have to think that there is one person who never had these feelings, and that was Jesus.
As a business person, I am constantly given sales quotas and other targets and objectives that create the environment in which I live every day, many of which I achieve and surpass, some which I fall short of. And at the end of the month and quarter, I must review my performance and adjust my plans, in order to hit the target at the end of the Fiscal Year.
And if I bring into account all the other aspects of my life, the targets and goals, achievements and failures, these only underscore the reasons why I feel a need to make resolutions every December 31st. I strive to get it right next year, only to find that I can’t always look back and say “Well done, Dan. You’ve done everything right.” I heard once that airline pilots spend 96% of their time off course, and their job is to constantly adjust their course to correct for wind, traffic, turbulence and every other factor that keeps pulling them away from their flight plan. I guess that is what I do, and in a sense, it is OK. Because that is what a life with Jesus is about. I have to accept the fact that I can not stay on course on my own, and recognize and use the tools that will every minute of my flight help me to correct my course. Simple things like prayer, reading His Word, finding fellowship on the road.
In our fellowship with the Lord, we are given that opportunity to renew constantly, with faith that we will get to the destination, even though we may stray off-course more that we think. In prayer, we can talk with Jesus anytime to ask for help. We can read the Bible to find instruction and guidance, and if we actively seek fellowship in His name, we will find the encouragement we need to press on toward the goal. Encouragement to learn from our brothers and sisters with whom we share the journey. And the assurance that God is there for us all, if we simply seek Him and trust in Him. Fellowship lets us share our shortcomings and needs, but also gives us the opportunity to see that everyone else is up against the same frustrations, griefs, and challenges, but that God will be there for all of us.
Jesus never had to make a new year’s resolution. If He looked back at the year A.D. 30, or 31, or 32, he would never have to say to himself “What do I need to do differently this year?”. But I do. So I will try to keep the list simple.
My resolution for this year will be a variation on a recent movie titles. I will Read, Pray, Love. I think if I do everything in light of how it concerns my relationship with Him, then anything is possible. And if I understand my humanness and realize that when I do fall short, His promises will never fall short, and I will not fret and worry about the day to day.
And maybe I’ll lose weight, get in better shape, compose some new songs, and all those other promises of the new year. But it will not matter in the long run.
Happy New Year