Happy new year, everyone. I realize that I’m about a week late on that, but seeing as how this is my first post of 2016, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read and follow us at Sacred Margins. May this year be one of blessing and growth for you and your family.
Trevor introduced the idea of resolutions earlier this week (and why they usually don’t work or fail to live up to our expectations). Something he said has rung in my ears rather loudly the last few days:
Tweaking the same old ways of doing things will never have the power to truly change ourselves or the world. We need fresh eyes, and new ways of seeing and being in the world.
I believe this statement to be true in all kinds of ways, but particularly meaningful during this time of year.
Resolutions are wonderful things. I’ve made a couple this year because I want to eat healthier, be more active and spend more time with my wife. You’ve likely made similar promises to yourself or at least thought about ways you’d like to improve in the new year.
Resolution — a firm decision to do or not do something — is a good thing. It shows intent and commitment. Change begins when we set our minds to do something.
But resolution is limited.
Firstly, resolution relies on the power of my own will. And by the middle of January we are all reminded about how far that usually takes us. Research tells us that nearly half of all resolutions are broken before February; almost 90% never make it a full year.
Also, resolution is usually about desire. We want to lose weight or read more books or stop that bad habit or be a better parent. It’s about our desire to change, but rarely about he path to change.
Resolution is a good thing. But what really changes me is revelation.
My outlook has become jaded and cynical.
I need to see the world around me with fresh eyes.
I am stuck in stale habits and entrenched attitudes.
I need deeper understanding of my place in the world.
I have suffered from poor decisions and mistakes.
I need wisdom to inform my attitudes, actions and thoughts.
I admit that often I have the desire for change, but the way to it often eludes me.
I need insight. I need wisdom. I need revelation.
Thankfully, this is exactly what Jesus brought to us. He didn’t just give us a new set of objectives or rules, but an entirely new way of being in the world.
I love that after Christmas, the church calendar turns to Epiphany (which was yesterday, actually). Because that word describes exactly what we need when we think of the changes we desire. More than simply the resolution to change, I need deep revelation to make change possible.
So as you think about your resolutions for 2016, I encourage you to also think about the things you need to see differently. What do you need to understand better about yourself, your family, your relationships and your roles? And don’t just resolve to be better, but pray for new eyes, a softer heart and deeper wisdom.