Don't stop making them. Resolutions. Decisions. Promises to yourself and others. Don't stop just because you fail every year,
to lose weight
to get organized
to spend less and save more
to be fully present and enjoy all of life
to get fit and healthy
to learn something new and exciting
to quit smoking
to help others achieve their dreams
to fall in love---for real
to spend more time with your family
to forgive that person in your family who makes you sick with fury. (More on this one later)
All of these (except the last one) are the Top Ten Resolutions Americans make----and break. Only 8% will reach their goals. So we stop, most of us, believing or pretending that a new year can be a new start. Those broken promises lay on us like a corpse and we feel foolish, powerless, helpless, trapped. Like nothing can change, last of all-----us. Little impotent us.
But we're wrong on every word. This first day of 2015, this first week is no ordinary day or week. There IS no ordinary day. Not if you remember who made it, who dwells in it, who fills it, who is ready to unleash His own power in it, in YOU.
And so, like my dear friend Heather Johnson, who has written this, One Resolution, I vow the same. I have ONE RESOLUTION. But it is more than that. It is a promise. And---it is more than a promise. This promise comes with a plan. And it will make me (and you) strong and wise and happy and good and organized and present and loving. (And clean.)
(See how much I need this??)
But it's so simple, you will be angry with me. You will complain that I led you here to a river bank and simply asked you to dunk seven times in an ordinary backyard slough. You might prefer a doctor's prescription. You might want something much fancier, more elaborate and exotic. Something that costs money, so you know it has value. Something that comes with a 21 point plan and a guru on speed dial for the rough spots. Something flashy that will get others' attention. Something popular, that others will join you in. Something public, to garner attention. Something imported, that you name with an accent so you sound world-travel-y and informed. Something even---heroic.
Instead, it's simple. It's cheap. It's already in your house. Maybe even by your bed. Some people hate it. Some people ridicule it. Some people will name you a simpleton or a terrorist for using it. But their names and mockery don't matter.
And now I will tell you. My One Promise is this:
To read through the New Testament twice this year. With my husband. Following a reading plan (one plan here)
Don't be angry. The world will change because of this. Because of two people falling headlong into the gospels, the words and life of Jesus, the healings, the woes and blessings, the joyful road to the cruel crucifixion, the first church, the stumbling apostles, and everywhere words of God-glory sharding the earth with love so bright---water, hearts and knees will fall. Crooked backs will straighten, weak legs will climb mountains. And they will.
The Promise: One chapter a day. An open kneeling heart and feet ready to walk. And God will do the rest.
And what is this for?
“ . . . That you may live a life worthy of the Lord
and please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to his glorious might . . ."
This is not an empty hope, a wishful wish. Elsewhere Peter writes,
"His divine power has given us EVERYTHING we need for a godly life . . . "
It's right here in front of us. Beside our bed. On our coffee tables. In our e-readers.
It's a living book, pulsing with the very breath and blood and spirit of God himself.
This is my One Promise in 2015 and I hope yours as well.
What will happen?
God will delight in you,
Fruit will fall and fall from your hands,
Arms and heart and hope will be muscled strong
God will come nearer, dearer,
His mighty power filling every crack and need,
Until you're doing it: living a life beautiful
and worthy of His life.
Don't miss this chance.
Make a Promise. Make a Plan. (And when you miss a day or three or thirteen, don't try to catch up. Just step back in on the right day. See---you CAN do this!)
He'll do the rest.
(Other years I have done the One Year Bible, which I happily recommend!)
And now----your turn!! What Promise(s) will God enable you to keep this New Year?