Resolutions

For 34 years, I’ve had New Year’s resolutions. Well, perhaps only about 25…I don’t suppose many people have a New Year’s resolution as a toddler. But, as soon as I was old enough to see the people around me setting goals for the year ahead, I followed along. Every year it was something different but each resolution always seemed to follow the same theme.

“I will…..be better”

I will increase in value in some way. I will do this or that to further myself along in life. Whether it was to be more attentive at school, to be less selfish, to be healthier, to achieve a dream or goal, I would adamantly swear to myself on New Year’s Eve that for the next year, I would commit to this new idea and accomplish…something.

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Well, you can imagine how that always turned out. A week would pass and I would be making progress. A month would pass and things would slow down…3 months would pass and the entire thing became a memory, a forgotten dream that came and went as quickly as I had sworn to do it.

This year I had originally decided to try and be more organized. It is still something I will attempt to do, but it will not be my resolution. I don’t think there is anything wrong with attempting to accomplish a goal or create new habits, but when we completely depend on ourselves to succeed, we are already bound for failure.

The reason why is this…I can’t actually be better. I can’t create something in myself that was not already created by the Creator. Whatever potential I have, it has existed in me since the day I was born. To reach this potential, I need only enlist His help.

I have been on a journey of discovering myself as a writer for about 4 years now. In the beginning, I was so excited that I had written something people liked to read. I took great pride in my work and sought to continue with creating books that would touch others until one day, I hit a road block. I was so overcome with frustration, that I walked away from it all. That was 2 years ago. I always knew I wouldn’t walk away forever, but I needed time to find in myself the reason I began in the first place.

You see, the entire first 2 years that I spent writing and desperately trying to promote my book, and myself, was completely focused on what I wanted to say.

What message did I want to spread?

How could my work, no matter how small or insignificant it might be, help change the world for the better?

When I realized I couldn’t, or rather, it couldn’t, I became discouraged and borderline bitter. I had worked so hard for what seemed like forever (2 years might not be that long but when you’re completely obsessed with what you’re doing, it seem like a lifetime.). What did I have to show for it? A few dozen positive reviews on Amazon. Maybe I could have garnered more had I enlisted the help of family and friends, but I couldn’t do that. I wanted everyone’s opinion of my work to be authentic and unbiased. The game seemed rigged and frustration caused me to take a long break.

It took another 2 years of thinking, examining, praying, and praying…and praying… to see what I had been lacking all along.

It wasn’t the need to set more goals and it wasn’t that I needed to make a commitment to some sort of new resolution. What I had been missing the entire time wasn’t what I wanted to say, it was the fact that it wasn’t actually my message that I wanted to spread. What I felt in my heart to share with the world was my experience and understanding of God’s message, not my own.

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So, this year…I have no resolution. This year, and every year afterward, I don’t want to do what I think is best, I want God to do with me what He thinks is best.

Of course I will try to be better organized and meet deadlines on time, but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t need a new commitment to myself, I need to renew my commitment to God. Over and over and over again.

Happy New Year and have a blessed 2017.

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