The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. (Psalm 145:8)
Relate: It is about that time of year to start really focusing in on New Year’s Resolutions. Do you have any? What about last year? Did you make any for 2017 that you have kept? Did any of those resolutions even make it through the month of January? I have learned a while back not to make daily goals but instead to do cumulative ones. Instead of saying, “I will read for thirty minutes every day” I say, “I will read a hundred books this year.” With the first resolution, I tend to give up the first or second day I failed. With the latter, I will push through thinking I can make it well into the year. I am at 91 books so far this year. Obviously, I won’t make it. Even still, a week back I was thinking, “I have twelve more books to go and twelve days to do it… this is possible.” One year, instead of saying, “I will bike five miles a day” I said, “I will bike 1,500 miles this year.” I think I ended up doing about 1,200. Didn’t hit either goal, but it kept me moving well into October.
React: Looking back on this year, I can see the accomplishments I have made but also my failures. There are a lot of things I wanted to do, or that I expected to happen which simply did not. I have been listening to Mike Duncan’s “Revolutions” podcast and just finished up his Latin America – Simon Bolivar series. In one of his final episodes, he said, “Limited accomplishment. If I could sum up the revolution in Latin America with only two words it would be those. I feel as though I have used them five or six times in each episode and they define every event and every accomplishment since the beginning.” He could have been talking about my life. Well, at least this past year. I have done, but I could have done better. Pick an area, pick a goal, pick an event from this past year and that would be me.
It is a hard line to walk to balance my pragmatism and my dreams. If I swing too far to one side I fall into complaining. If I go too far to the other, I step into complacency. I am thankful for where I have come, but I want more. I want much more from 2018. As I begin to dive into the dreams and goals and plans for this coming year, I will dream big. I will plan practical, and I will do my best to find the balance between the two. This coming year I expect to change the world. But in the end, I understand that will probably be a limited accomplishment.
As I take these next few days to remember where I have come from and dream of where I am going, help me to focus in on what You want me to see. Point out those areas in my life that most desperately need to change. Give me the dreams and the expectations You want me to carry into 2018. Help me to be grateful for the way You have molded me but do not me be too complacent that I do not desire an even greater change to come. As I have already given You all of me, I give You this coming year. There are no limits to what You can accomplish through me if I am fully surrendered to You.