If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. — James 1:5-8
Now that the holiday wrapping and the festive decking has granted us a temporary stay before the new year, what’s on your mind? It’s a loaded question for sure, but one I’m asking myself. Though I hate the stress of resolutions, I welcome the internal dialogue of reflections. Resolutions demand we set unrealistic expectations to rigid rules. Reflections remind us to make realistic exceptions of life’s limitations. And when we don’t meet the self-imposed standards, resolutions punish us from the outside in, where reflections permit us to learn and grow from the inside out. Resolutions blame; reflections forgive.
Around the thirty-first every year, we’ve entertained some of these questions:
– Try losing 10 lbs. by Valentine’s Day or eat healthy all year round?
– Grin and bare it with an in-law or extend grace to everyone?
– Promise to visit (or write or help or pray) or make good on your word?
– Keep hoping to make a mark on the world or make your mark being a better you?
Our minds, fashioned and formed for great exploits, can find it faced with a questioable dilemma: are we positioned for resolutions or poised for reflections? Wisdom waits in the wings of our souls to address those concerns if we’re willing to trust God with the choices we make. Wisdom waits for our acceptance.
I long gave up resolutions. A few of mine from the past: Lose a gazillion pounds by January 15th (I’m healthy, for Pete’s sake!). Write my second book by 2012 (Oops! Missed that one!). Visit a foreign country (Need my passport first). Learn to play the piano (Okay, I can pluck a few notes and pound a couple chords but busyness is a brown bear I can’t play!). You see what I mean. UGLY! I refuse to take another beating.
Wisdom’s favorite passages come gift wrapped for me to open all year round. And as I reflect on 2018, I pass this gift on to you. You can open this one in Proverbs. Instead of relegating to making up resolutions for January 1st (which, by the way, most of us will not keep. It’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it), reflect on this:
Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Happy New Year blessings to one and all!