“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Helen H. Lemmel
Happy new year, everyone! Do you all have a handle on your resolutions so far? Or have you not only fallen off the New Year Wagon, you’re running along behind it? I have to say, I’m glad we are nestled in the grace of being a Work in Progress, because I have a confession to make. Are you ready for this? I didn’t make any resolutions this year.
I know, I know. I feel like a slug even admitting it. I mean, who doesn’t strive to be a better person? Who doesn’t love a fresh start? Who in the world passes up the chance to make this year the best one yet? But if I’m being honest, it all just seems so...intimidating.
Everywhere I look, I see the phrase “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” It’s on fitness commercials and billboards. I even saw a bible study on my Bible app with the title. I can’t decide if they are promising me a surefire way to change me for the better, or just accusing me of not being good enough in the first place. I mean, I’m sure they are trying to help, but when it comes down to it, I feel like they may have more confidence in me than I have in myself! The resolutions that usually come so easily fell a little flat this year, because I know deep down that I never follow through with them anyway, so what’s the use in trying? Research says that 60 percent of people make resolutions, but only 8 percent are actually successful. Talk about pressure...Lord, help me!
And then, He does. It’s a gentle nudge to my weary soul, reminding me that I’m trying to hold myself up to expectations I’ve created that God never intended for me to reach in the first place. All of the ideas that I have to be perfect or hold myself up to the world’s standards or be just like this person or...those are all unattainable, worldly goals that I can spend my life chasing, but in the end, I will fall over dead inside before I ever catch just one. Maybe the one goal I should be striving for is to just keep my eyes on Jesus. That’s it. To try minute by minute to focus on my Savior, to start and end each day just...looking up. Just one goal that I can remind myself of each day, instead of a whole list that is doomed to failure before it even starts.
And maybe this one goal will affect every area of my life, the more I practice it. Should I watch what I eat and exercise? Yes, because my body is God’s temple. Should I spend money wisely? Yes, because it all belongs to God. Should I spend more time with family, be more positive at work, learn something new...all of these things will probably improve if I just remember to fix my gaze on the One who really matters in it all, because I’ll be focused on doing what HE wants me to do. And is there any higher goal than wanting to be more like Jesus?
And, best of all, we all have a bonus prize that comes with our single goal. GRACE. Because when I’m hard on myself for not measuring up, God is there to remind me that I’m a treasure in His eyes, and no matter how many times I lose focus, I’m never a failure to Him. Jesus gives me infinite chances to start over when I give myself none.
So, just to be clear: we have a list with only ONE goal to work for, as many do-overs as it takes, with no pressure attached?? Now that seems like a New Year’s resolution that I can handle. I’m praying that we all have a NEW YEAR, NEW VIEW with our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus!