Change. That's what the focus of a new year is all about...change. Some regard change as necessary...something to be desired. Others see change as bad and wish that things could always remain the same regardless if that means that one's life remain stagnant and unfulfilled.
Resolutions are promises we make to ourselves to make changes in our lives, whether those changes be physical, spiritual, or part of our daily routine. All too often we break these promises to ourselves and then struggle with the fact that we feel as though we have failed. Not only do we give up on reaching our goals, but we also tend to stop setting additional goals, excusing ourselves because we see it only as a source of more opportunities to fail.
There are so many goals I set for myself last year that I failed to meet. Rather than give up, I have determined to continue those same goals for this year hoping that I can redeem myself from where I failed in the past year and to celebrate the smallest steps of progress this year.
For me the hardest part in reflecting back on the past year was seeing the ways I broke promises to God. Breaking promises I made to myself are more easily excused than promises that I make to God and fail to follow through with. But every time I start going over the list of ways I have failed Him, He reminds me of the ways that He has supported me and forgiven me. There's one area in particular that I have failed Him in tremendously. For me that is my foothold...my sin area...the place that I let Satan creep into and whisper things to my heart that it should refuse to hear. He has mastered using the voices of others here too, and I listen because their voices carry some measure of weight. This year above all years I must determine to live only for an audience of One. That is hard to do. It means rejecting those other voices. It means measuring everything against the life of Christ rather than the world's measuring sticks.
The weight of such a decision is so heavy and cumbersome, and yet,so freeing. It is so hard to live for Him....I mean to truly try to follow all His commandments and to deny yourself and what you want to do and say in the flesh. There have been so many times this year that I was completely justified by not only the world's standards, but those of the Bible, and yet the Holy Spirit urged me to be still and wait. Even now I have so many finely sharpened arrows tucked safely within my quiver waiting at a moment's notice to come to my defense, and yet the God of the Universe beckons me not to trust in what is within my own strength and resources, but rather to wholly trust in Him to fight my battles.
And so on this first day of 2018, I commit myself to live for an audience of One....to live out the word JOY...and to write. Yes, I said it. I have failed. I have sinned and come short of the glory of God. He reminds me gently and for some reason He lingers and patiently waits for me to draw from His strength...to trust in His call....and to be authentic no matter the cost, for the cost is high, but when I survey the cost He paid for me, it is as nothing.