There’s something about that ball dropping at the stroke of midnight on December 31st that makes me ever so slightly anxious – did I accomplish enough during the past year? – have I given enough thought to my goals for the coming year? – time is slipping away and wasn’t it just yesterday that I made that last set of resolutions? Or maybe it was yesterday that I stressed over not keeping those resolutions! You get the picture, I’m sure. Aren’t we pretty much constantly telling ourselves that we need to do better in certain areas? Don’t we all have those moments (sometimes a LOT of them) when we chide ourselves for letting ourselves down . . . for failing to live up to the picture we have of what our lives can and perhaps should be like?
Here’s an example: I have a plastic bin full of jeans that have been the focus of several years’ worth of resolutions. “THIS will be the year I fit into them once again”, I declare boldly to myself. But long before 11:59 pm of December 31 . . . I’ve realized that’s not going to happen! Perhaps you, too, have a “bin full of dreams” that just sits there year after year waiting to be opened and fulfilled.
I take great comfort in Hebrews 12:1, which says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Now other than the fact that this verse brings up the word “weight” (the mention of which we’d all rather ignore right now) . . . I find consolation in the instruction to “run the race that is set before US” (emphasis mine). Perhaps fitting into those jeans is not the race God has set before me. I’m sure He wants me healthy and active – after all, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I am to glorify God with my body, according to 1st Corinthians 6:19-20. But I may be veering off course to put so much emphasis every year on resolving to do something that 1) might be prideful or vain, 2) is probably too self-focused and 3) doesn’t seem to be working anyway!
So, I’m getting rid of the jeans. Someone who finds them at a wonderful price at the Goodwill Store (and actually fits into them) will be delighted! And I will be laying aside something that has weighed me down over the years and instead, focusing on the current race that God has set before me. And even though I sense that one of those races might be paying more attention to a healthy weight and lifestyle, I can approach it with a realistic resolve and not the pipe-dream of yesteryear!
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Joyfully serving Him,
Kathy Bowman Director of Music and Ministries