A new year is about to begin in a few days. This may be my last blogpost for 2009, although I may find some inspiration between now and then. That's the really annoying thing about writing. Sometimes the inspiration appears at some random time like 2:00 a.m. and knocks on the door of your mind so incessantly that you compose brilliant lists that don't look quite so stunning in the light of day. Other times, you sit in front of a keyboard and cannot form a two word sentence. And when you least expect it, the words flow freely from another place through the fingers and onto the page. So, I'm writing now while I have the will, energy, and time.
A sermon this morning was simply but interestingly presented and reminded us to press ahead, to keep our eyes on Jesus and to realize that not making godly changes in our lives is the reason for a lot of the pain and trouble we experience. So, here are a few resolutions for 2010. Not necessarily because I believe that I can keep these in my own strength, but because I want to try to be a better person a year from now than I am right now.
Funny thing about resolutions is that part of our human nature is to be incredibly forgetful. I'm not talking about the inability to remember that often comes with age, stress, or exhaustion or any combination of the three. I'm speaking of the fact that we tend to live only in the past, the present or the future. Just like the Isrealites had to make stone mounds to remind them of something incredible God had done that they witnessed or a generation or so before them had seen...we often need those stone piles as well. If nothing else to bang our heads on out of frustration or to knock some sense back into ourselves. Because as human beings, we tend to forget an awful lot of our existence to suit ourselves.
People who live in the past probably had a stellar childhood, a great high school experience, and a tremendous amount of talent, magic, or favor in their lives. They find it hard to live in the present or future because there were people who protected them from reality or from decision making on anything more than an elementary level. Those who live in the future are those who have endured so much that they have held on to the promise of a wonderful future so tightly, that as they complete one goal after another, they are never satisfied because there are so many items on the "to do" list and so many regrets of what was expected that turned out differently.
The happiest ones live in the present. They listen for their path day by day as a "daily bread" experience. They plan, but don't feel boxed in by it. They prepare, but they retain flexibility. They savor rather than hoard or run through it on their way from point A to point B. They hear God's voice, and are able to respond to what it is that He is trying to teach them. They have disappointments...but they see these as delays...or that something better is just ahead. They experience sadness...but they have peace in the storm. They have dreams...but they are willing to lay them aside for a higher calling...and they live with fewer regrets of poor decisions.
From a resolution standpoint, it is my desire to live in the present. I want to really live in 2010. I want to be realistic in that I need to conserve money and energy in the coming year. I am already committed as far as every known dollar will stretch. If we are meant to do more...the funds will follow. If not, then they will not and we will do without. We will eat at home, celebrate more meaningfully, and cook more nutritiously. We will appreciate the blessings that we have and will expect miracles instead of relying on our own ingenuity. To temper this, we will strive to be givers and not takers, will take offense less often, and will try to make do with what we have. We are so blessed that we often trip over the sheer volume of the physical ones, and we so often overlook the spiritual and emotional ones while we are looking for something else.
So, rather than pledging to lose 100 pounds and exercise religiously...I'm going to try to lose emotional baggage and build up my spiritual muscles. The physical will come along with it if I keep my priorities straight. Keeping an eye on the road ahead will make the coming year more meaningful and the little blessings of every day more real.
Happy 2010 to you...in advance. I hope that those of you with strained family relationships will make this the year to quit holding a grudge. I hope that those of you with health issues will receive healing or an extra measure of God's love during the trial. I wish for you happiness, a closer relationship with God, and the ability to know that you are significant and important. Because you are. Happy 2010...may it be the decade of miracles...