Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolving to Resolve in 2015.

You wouldn't want to leave a James Bond movie, not knowing if Bond saved the day AND got the girl.
You wouldn't want to make it through a mystery novel to find the last chapter missing with all your answers.
And we all definitely needed to know if Rachel got off the plane (spoiler...she did.)
Common thread? Resolution.

There is a constant need for resolve in our lives. Even if books, movies and Friends episodes aren't your pick (though you should reconsider the FRIENDS thing. I mean, come on, she got off the plane!!!), there is a need to finish, complete or tie off all the loose ends in our lives, whatever they may be. We seek to see a before and after, a beginning and an end, a final result to give validation to whatever journey or process it took to get to that point.

You're probably a sharp cookie and can see where this is going...yes, I referenced cookies...and yes, I'm forging head first towards a talking-to about New Year's "Resolutions"...
Now before you think I'm ringing in the new year as some cynical party pooper, let me assure you I am your glass half-full, rainbows and butterflies (and compromise), goal setting, dream chasing, everyone's foam-finger-waving-cheerleader, let the good times roll, girl.
With that said, I admit I have a hint of scoffed eye-roll reaction any time I see the ads for "New Year's Resolutions" and the posts pop up on social media outlets. How many of us have set a lofty New Year's Resolution, fallen short, messed up or jumped the tracks within weeks, subsequently taking on either disappointment in your own failure or a laugh-at-yourself attitude in celebration of the reality that we knew we set ourselves up to fail anyways?? I heard my pastor say "if we succeed, it goes to our head and if we fail, it goes to our heart". He was talking about the building of character in regards to trial and perseverance through failures and successes. Rather than skeptically laughing at our inevitable let downs, why don't we fix our hearts on joys and lessons of each up and down. Rather than posting some formulated list (I'm a list maker, so I'm not hating on my fellow kind), start focusing on the small adjustments that will posture your heart and mind in a place to truly be in God's Will and I truly believe your personal best will just become a side effect of that!

It's the list of resolutions put out there as some pretty veneer of what we think others believe our lives should look like. It's the list of ideals we see as missing from our lives, even if they may not truly be reasonable for ourselves. It's the comparison to what others have done and what others may have that paints a rosy picture in our heads of what we have to do to get there. My issue with it is just that...when we are searching to match our lives to others' rosy picture lives and set grand "resolutions" that truly won't have the resolve we search for.

I do not want to discourage goal setting here. I just know that it is easy to decide that January 1st starts some grand gesture to completely change your life...and it often comes with no resolve by the following December. So why don't we think of ways we need to better our behaviors, our thoughts, and our habits, our prayer life, our attitudes...and start to work towards that character. After all, "where the ideal is lacking, Grace abounds" so even as we fall short, God's grace has already stepped in as more than enough.
As the quirky Kathleen Kelly said in You've Got Mail, "Whatever anything is, it oughta begin by being personal". And while we have to forgive Meg Ryan for strutting like a dude that whole movie, the girl has a point. Is it personal? Does it come from a place of wanting yourself to be better for you, or moreover, better because you know you were made for more? Because you are not your own? To make strides towards taking on your role as child of God?  The process of "becoming" is a gritty one and there is no true final moment of "oh I'm done". Your button doesn't pop. The timer doesn't ding.
We are not promised a garden of roses in this life. But we did have 365 days in 2014 and what will be the difference over the next 365 days until we are ringing in 2016 with a whole new list of resolutions? Character. Character is to be built in trial, perseverance, and endurance as in Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us".

With the top five resolutions set each year being the following...
  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less/Save More 
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Stay Fit and Healthy
How could there possibly be anything wrong with picking New Years Resolutions? Especially coming from a girl who started a blog about seeking her personal best? There isn't. I am all for working to better yourself especially if you can recognize the season you're in as God's refinement and gritty work in your life.
But my plea here today, is that while listing off all the wonderful new beginnings 2015 will bring you, you remember we were made for more. Our worth and value is not in our goals and resolutions and whether we see the outcome desired. Our worth and value is in our Creator. And. Well, my heart skips a giddy beat when I think of the best and ultimate resolve that is spelled out in Revelation. And even then, it's a eternity with my Jesus. This is the only resolution which my identity and worth reside within and I couldn't be more thankful.

So ring it in guys, For Auld Lang Syne,
Finding Fit....even in the new year,

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