Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Many of my friends don't bother to make resolutions anymore—at the beginning of a New Year or at any beginning. What's the use? they figure. “Within a day or two of the drop of the crystal ball I've already broken all that I resolved. I wake up the next morning the same-old, same-old person I was before and it just discourages me.”

I understand that. I've continually experienced such disappointment. I kept diaries of sorts from my early childhood. I actually have a box of them stored away somewhere. They had little keys to lock them shut, whatever the purpose was of that. Probably so that my mother wouldn't read what I was thinking? In my childish handwriting I seemed to be continually making childish resolutions...and breaking them.

Nevertheless, I believe in making resolutions. I could became disheartened since I've continued to keep journals throughout my life and have stacks of them. The cheap spiral kind that you buy at the dollar store. Would you believe, below represents only the last decade or so?
    And at the end of each year I flip back over at least ten of them to rate myself on how I've done. My resolutions are monotonously repetitive—I'm looking at the same general and also specific resolutions year after year—the areas in which I've succeeded are few but the failure list is long.

As a child, at least I was trying and learning how to improve. I give myself kudos for the attempt. But what is my rationale as a nonagenarian to keep making resolutions? Am I seriously thinking that I can still change, improve, amend my falling-short ways and modify my behavior for the better? At what point should I give up and accept that I have already become all that I will ever become, that in my personality, life style, "earth suit" and spirituality I am now stuck permanently in cement?
Yes, I'm still at itmaking resolutions not only at New Years but at many points throughout any calendar year. I'm joining the apostle Paul in confessing that not only have I “not attained” but that I continue to “press on” (make resolutions). When he wrote that passage in his letter to the Christians at Philippi, he was aged and exhausted with the struggles of spreading the gospel in hostile places and among people where he was often not welcome. Nevertheless, he was still intentional, deliberately pushing forward with optimism, straining ahead, always climbing, not stuck on a plateau.

I too must be intentional to move forward by making resolutions that are anchored not in my self-effort or wishful thinking, but in the ability and willingness of God to provide me with the strength and wisdom to press on. What are resolutions?  They are simply defining and setting goals. Unless I define a target and take aim I will never achieve anything.
While I 'm alive and breathing, I'm continually in process and incomplete and surely still malleable, able to be transformed all the way to stepping over into the Eternal Dimension. The principle? The higher I aim and the higher I resolve, the greater my chances of success, if I lean into God's promise, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). I go again:  

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