Thursday, January 08, 2009

On New Year's Resolutions

I've been a resolution-maker as long as I can remember. My type-A personality really gets into the list-making and goal-setting and plan-outlining. (The only problem is the follow-through.)

My tendency each January is to make a laundry list of resolutions. A lifelong perfectionist, I have no problem seeing hundreds of things I could change, and for a few deluded moments, I actually believe it's possible to tackle them all: marriage, parenting, homemaking, food, exercise, intimacy with God, serving the Body, serving the lost, using my talents, working at friendships, personal hobbies...OY. My ambition and hope for change quickly turn to discouragement when I am inevitably reminded of my frailty, my pathetic lack of willpower.

I doubt I am alone in my despair and my propensity to give up quickly; we've all heard the statistics about how quickly January diets are abandoned. Maybe God means for us to see painfully clearly that we cannot reform ourselves--that all our resolving and planning and buddy systems to change habits cannot change our hearts.

This year, I'm praying that God will show me what He would have me focus on in the coming months. I pray He'll give me the grace to persevere in those things, yet even more importantly, I need the grace to humbly depend on Him to cover my inadequacies and failures everywhere else. He alone is perfect, and I become either puffed-up or completely deflated when I try to be.

I pray that He'll teach me to rest in Him--to fight, yes; to strive with all my might and to labor with His energy at work in me--but also to stand firm in my identity as His daughter. As I try to grow in 2009, I want to do so in the certain hope that HE is in the business of transforming hearts and lives, knowing that His acceptance of me is not secured by my performance, but by the perfect performance of Jesus on my behalf.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

So if you are "type A" then I'll bet that means you are very organized right? Like all your stuff has a place and is put away neatly? I sure would love to learn some of that, I am WAY opposite of "type A"!

Great idea on allowing God to lead you in what He would have you do this year. I am not big on resolutions, simply because no one keeps them. But asking God to show me what He would have me do makes more sense than trying to keep a promise to myself.