While the neural pathways in your brain are probably telling you its time to form those New Year’s resolutions, the truth is most of us don’t manage to keep them beyond a couple of weeks, at best. Far be it from me to discourage you, but there might be a better way to experience enduring change. A number of years ago I decided to forego resolutions, and seek to discover what one thing God might have for me in the coming year. I can’t tell you how transformative these have been.
Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live—but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life.
(Palmer, Parker J. 2000. Let your life speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.p. 4-5)
I was totally surprised by what God led me to for 2017. There were so many big events for me—a book launch, teaching my first seminary classes, Joe’s major accident etc. but the event the Lord kept bringing me back to was our unplanned kitchen remodel. Gently, God called me to relive that experience, reminding me of how I had no control, that the entire thing was a gift I couldn’t manage, and could only wait and be grateful as it unfolded. As I sat with the Spirit in this place, I heard the word abide, and knew that was to be my focus for 2017. I am not sure what this is going to entail, but I will share with you as we go.
Meanwhile, have a blessed New Year, and if you’d like to trade in your resolutions for a spiritual exercise that might just make a real difference, click here.