Western society has become incredibly fast paced. We wake up and check our email, Facebook, twitter and who knows what else before we rush off to grab a coffee and get on with our day. The way we start our day continues until we finally collapse at night and wait for it to start again!
One of the issues with this way of life is we have little or no time for self reflection. We spend our time rushing from one thing to the next, always with our mind on what is next, who to meet, and how we might post that on our favorite social media site. We live in a society of sensory overload, with TV, Internet and social media constantly pushing at us at all times of the day and night, so that we barely have time to think.
Then at the end of the year we sit down, realize what a mess we have made of things and decide next year we will definitely do better!
It’s that time of year again. Yep, time for New Years Resolutions! I don’t know whether you are a resolution person or not – or whether you have ever succeeded in the past or not. But I do have a suggestion.
Focus on God.
Rather than focusing on yourself, or on what people think of you (or your Facebook post about your resolution to climb the Eiffel tower naked), take some time to focus on God – and in doing so improve yourself at the same time.
1 Corinthians 3:11–15 (NIV)
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Take time this coming year to work on your spiritual life, to build on the foundation of your relationship with Jesus Christ. There are plenty of things we might ‘resolve’ to do – and give up in the first week or month. Say, no junk food, go to the gym, or spend less time on the internet. Whilst any of these things for you might be good things (and worth doing), you can do more – you can make a change to your whole way of life.
So this year, resolve to be different – not just in the little things, but in your whole person. And don’t make it too hard or crazy! Focus on real change, not impressive sounding resolutions that sound good on December 31 and fail by January 7.
How about reading your Bible daily? If you are not a big reader, don’t do something like 10 chapters a day or even Bible in a year. Read a little bit a day – a paragraph, a section, even a chapter. Just a little bit – some days if you feel like more, then read more. If not, don’t stress it. If you miss a day, don’t worry, and don’t try and double down the next – just read what you can and try and be consistent, and see how your life changes.
So this year, rather than having 35 resolutions, or things which are bound to fail because they become impossible and a burden – be simple and focus on the deeper important things in your life – your salvation and your relationship with the Creator of the Universe!
Once you do, you might even find those other areas that you want to fix start to resolve themselves along the way. It’s like trying to fix a crumbling wall – if you start at the top, you will never solve the issue – because the issue is much deeper down, at the lower levels or foundation. Start there and you have a much better chance of resolving the other issues, as your foundation becomes sure!
So remember. Be simple. Be realistic. Focus on the important. And maybe, just maybe take more time for self reflection than just once a year!