2017 has just begun, and we are heading into a new year. That means, for some, new ideas, new goals, new intentions, and new thinking. New in this case seems to mean change.
In asking a friend what her goals may be for the new year she answered with several. Her answer was well-rounded with personal, work, home, and spiritual pursuits. I knew the question would come back around on me, and it did. I wasn’t prepared with an answer.
As I read her reply however, I thought…
“What do I really want to set as a goal?” “What can I work or and change?” “What will I do differently in the coming months?”
My first response in my mind was, “So very much.” The next, “Why go thru this each New Year, I never seem to accomplish what I want, or change what I need to.” With high and lofty goals of change inevitably comes disappointment, and, failure. Or what I perceive as failure.
When I try to do the right thing and end up doing the not so right thing, I often think of the book of Romans in the bible. I often refer to this as the Saul/Paul Theory. I try to do things and never finish, or get distracted, or just plain quit.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Paul wrestled with the old self (Saul). Trying to do right but always pulled by the sinful nature with in. It may be eye-opening to read the story of Paul and his conversion in Acts Chapter 9.
The choices we make are what hinder us. I know eating cookies for breakfast in not a good choice. However, it is so easy and tasty. Working out for an hour is a better choice than sitting in front of the television, this too is the easy choice. They are choices, good and bad, we make them. Our human nature wants to take the easy way. I have been told, “Change can not come by taking the easy way.” This is most certainly true. We change most when presented with a type of challenge.
Stepping into the New Year was easy. The challenge before memay not be.
Glancing at the year behind, the time past, and the choices made, I can look ahead to the new year in a new light.
Learning from the experiences, and living with the consequences of my choices I wait expectantly for tomorrow. A new day to step into, to walk with Christ, and to make the choices pleasing to Him, in doing so, I will walk in His light, glorify His name, and live as His child, beautifully and wonderfully made.