It’s a new year and as we all ushered in 2016 (joyfully or otherwise!), many of us also conjured up a “New Year’s Resolution” or two…or three…. I’m one of those people who tends to phrase my resolutions as “attempts to try.” Example: “I will try to gossip less. I will try to eat more healthily. I will try to be on time this year.” I’ve told myself this is a sensible and reasonable approach. However, the truth is, by phrasing resolutions this way, I’m giving myself an easy out. Come March (or, let’s be honest, February), when I’ve already abandoned a resolution, I can say, “Well, at least I tried to not gossip. At least, I tried to eat healthier. At least, I tried to be on time. Get off my back, at least, I tried!!” Pretty smart, huh?
However, my recent Google Search (screenshot above), yielded quite the abrupt realization that resolutions are, by their definition, rather rigid and marked departures from the way things once were. They are not ambiguous. They reflect a definitive end & a new beginning: “a firm decision” and the “solving (of) a problem”. Yikes. The stakes just got a lot higher in my plan for 2016. Google says that resolutions not just be “attempts to try” but rather “decisions to do”. But, what does God say?
Anyone else ask Google before they ask God? No? Just me? Well, maybe that’s why my resolutions so often fail. I look without rather than within. I often resolve to force a conclusion rather than commit to a journey. But, in doing so, I realized that I am suggesting that I know best. I’m suggesting that I know what 2016 needs to be and what needs to happen, rather than asking God what He needs from me in 2016.
So, this year, I’m going to
try DO something new. I’m going to borrow from my pal, St. Francis, and resolve to let God use me for His plan rather than my own. What is His goal & how can I serve Him? I’ve always loved the prayer of St. Francis and I offer it here to you, so that maybe you will be inspired to also resolve yourself to God’s plan for 2016.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Ah…I’m feeling better about March already!
What’s your resolution? Share it here.