It’s a new year and a lot of us have made New Year’s resolutions or simply decided that “this year will be different”. However, let’s not leap into change willy-nilly. If we leap too quickly it may lead to defeat, or what we see as defeat. Writers already experience enough of that.
Different is not necessarily better. It seems wise to take a look back before we move forward. What did we do right over the last year? I suggest writing out a list of the positives from last year. Likely you’ll be surprised at how much you actually did well.
We also need to take an honest look at what we did that resulted in a lot of nothing, or maybe somethings that weren’t so great. Write a list these as well. Post both of your lists, along with some new goals, someplace where you will see them every day. They will remind you of your decision to change and offer hope for better tomorrows.
We probably share many similar goals, but how do we accomplish them? And do all of our objectives honor God? Or were they meant for us?
Whatever it is that we hope to accomplish we’ve first got to think about how the changes we’re about to make line up with God’s Word and His will. Is what we desire something He wants for us? To find the answer we first need to take time for contemplation, to fully consider what we’re asking of ourselves and of others. Often times seeking out the opinion of someone we trust can be enlightening. Always take time to see what Scripture has to say and always pray. If after careful consideration, we have peace about what we intend to do it’s most likely a good change.
When we’re confident we’re walking a path God would be happy with, we can be certain it’s something we can accomplish. He doesn’t ask us to do what cannot be done. And let’s not forget that we don’t have to rely on our own strength. God’s strength is enough.
It’s easy to dream about fulfilling our aspirations, but doing the hard work of making those dreams a reality is another matter. The doing can be tedious and difficult and requires diligence. It happens in the day to day grind. And is usually not nearly so splendid as we had imagined. But fulfilling the call of God, being who He asked us to be can be breathtaking.
I have a lot of changes I’d like to make this year. The difficulty is that I’m the one who controls me. I must choose–my way or God’s way. His is always the best.
Sometimes I feel like The Little Engine That Could — I think I can, I think I can. On my own I am weak. But He is strong. I’m confident that I can do whatever God asks of me if I rely on the One who makes me able.
So no matter what it is that you’ve decided needs improvement this year, move forward with confidence. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that says you can’t do it. Listen to God, believe and obey and then wait to see what He can do.
Grace and peace to you from God.