You have probably heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Of course, I’ve never met anyone who ate an elephant, but I do know many people who have successfully navigated this path ahead of me. And many of them have provided great examples of what it looks like to live by Biblical priorities and convictions, with discipline, making daily decisions that form together to make godly character. And sprinkled throughout their lives are the regularly “do-overs” afforded by God’s grace, that are “new every morning,” not just at the beginning of the calendar year.
Having said that, the New Year is almost upon us. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2019, but it is, and the year ahead has great possibility for all of us. Whether you are one to make resolutions or not, I hope you are resolved to make this year all that God wants it to be in your life, and in the life of your family.
I saw a report the other day that said that people only follow through on 8% of their resolutions. That’s not very encouraging, and you’d think we would learn to not get in over our head with our commitments. But there’s something about a fresh start, when we turn the page on our calendars, that gives us a sense of a “do-over”– and this time we want to get it right. Still, unrealistic resolutions are not the answer; they often lead us down the same disappointing path as the year before.
If that sounds familiar, you might want to consider this option that I came across a few years back, which is almost guaranteed to succeed. If your resolutions usually come up empty, you might want to try a few of these:
~Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
~Stop exercising. Waste of time.
~Read less. Makes you think.
~Watch more TV. I’ve been missing some good stuff.
~Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
~Spend more time at work, surfing the Internet.
~Get further in debt.
~Spend less time with my family.
~Focus on the faults of others.
~Wait for opportunity to knock.
~Get in a whole NEW rut!
There is, of course, another solution. Most importantly, we can focus less on what we’re resolved to do for a whole year, and more on the individual choices we make on individual days that accumulate and make up a year.
So, take heart, those whose resolutions fall among the 92% that won’t make it till February. You can start over again tomorrow–and the next day, and the next–and allow God to daily shape you into who He has called you to be, for His honor, one bite at a time.
I’m praying for you, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us in 2019 as we serve Him together. Happy New Year! –Pastor Ken