Happy New Year everyone! :)
It’s been such an incredible and full year! But I know it’s no excuse to have not blogged since August. My bad. Hahaha. (Read Clarence’s post about DTR-ing with his blog…that’s me. Down to the Xanga and everything. Glad I’m not the only one!)
What I just love about the beginning of a new year is the infectious hope that just buzzes in the social media air; hope for a year that greatly surpasses the past, hope that this is FINALLY the year to make some lasting changes, hope that some unhealthy baggage can be left behind in the past, just pure and honest-to-goodness hope. Without hope, life just drones on and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing to keep us going. We need hope.
I’m one of those resolution makers and quick breakers, because I fall into the trap each year that there is something magical about this time of the year that helps resolutions stick. I get swept up in the emotional experience of this feeling of hope. “Surely, THIS year will be different!” But in reality, there’s nothing special about January 1st. There’s nothing special about this time of the year. January 1st is just another day.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe that this extra feeling of hope at the reset of a calendar year gives a good kick in the butt and motivation to get your butt in gear that some of us may need. But unfortunately for me (and I happen to be a strong feeler), when this feeling of hope for change fades and life starts to becomes mundane, I start to lose motivation. I start to forget my resolutions. It gets hard and icky, and I just don’t want to keep going.
Why is this? I mean, this has been a pretty steady trend for the past…20 years or so? What’s the problem?
I think I’ve narrowed this (and many of life’s basic problems, actually) down to one culprit: commitment. I’m just not committed enough.
Think about it like marriage. When you first marry someone, you are so high on lovey-dovey, warm-fuzzies-in-your-tummy feelings. “She is absolutely my soul-mate! I am head-over-heels in love with EVERYTHING about her!” “He is everything I could ever hope for, being with him makes me feel SO wonderful! We will NEVER EVER EVER get divorced like those other people!!!” And then 8 months later, they’re divorced. It happens in Hollywood a lot. It happens IRL a lot too (using my young “hip-with-the-kids” lingo).
So what happened? How can we be so excited and hopeful about something in the very beginning (i.e. relationships, resolutions) and then weeks later be SO over it? It’s our lack of commitment, I tell ya! For myself, I know that I ride on the waves of whatever emotions I experience until that wave is gone, and then I just lack the commitment and perseverance to stick through the hard stuff. And that’s when I begin to falter on what I’ve resolved to do. And the more I falter, the more I beat myself up and think, “Well, what’s the point of continuing with this if I didn’t do it perfectly anyways?” And then I just quit and then wait until the next new year to resolve to do better again. I don’t know if any of you can relate with this, but this is my usual New Years resolutions pattern.
BUT…(and there’s always a big “but” with God, pun somewhat intended?)
As I’ve been thinking about resolutions and “newness” the past couple of days, I was reminded of Lamentations 3:21-23: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.”
This brings great hope to me. You see, in God, every morning is a fresh, new start, and not just January 1st. I don’t have to wait until the next year if I’ve screwed up on resolutions to start up again. I don’t have to beat myself up for failing on what I’ve set out to do (again!), because God doesn’t! He is a God of fresh, new starts. And I think He knew it would be a part of the human condition to have a commitment problem and to need a bunch of fresh, new starts, and in His great mercy and love, He promises a fresh, new start each morning. (I think I said “fresh, new start” four or five times in this paragraph alone…they are starting to not look like words anymore…anyone else know what I am talking about?)
I’m still going to make resolutions for this year. Or should I say for this day since each day is a fresh, new start (now say it 5x really quickly!)? In fact, I was going to share some in this post before I rabbit-trailed, hahaha. But I’ll save it for another post.
Instead, let me exhort you with this, dear friends: Let 2013 be the year of as many fresh, new starts as you need: with resolutions, with life, in your relationships, with whatever! Because God is more than willing and He is definitely more than able to do so for us and walk with us the whole way through. And let 2013 be the year that we begin to live life with purpose and commitment, just one day at a time.
Cheers to 2013! :)