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.
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.
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.