It seems I picked the right year to nix the idea of making my annual list of resolutions. Fortunate too that I stocked up on boxes of tissue, antihistamines and expectorant. My first week of 2012 was spent depleting those supplies, not thinking a whit about any personal goals beyond getting well and back to a routine.
My decision to forego the resolution route came as I considered my history of resolutions: the rabbit-like start, the tortoise-like progression, the road-kill finish.
Perhaps my content was the problem. I always considered my list of self-improvement challenges to be superior to my husband’s simple, more practical goals. Yet by year’s end, his list faithfully emerged from his top desk drawer with a bold checkmark by each item. My own list remained in obscurity—deep in the belly of a filled-up, long-retired journal.
Not making resolutions doesn’t mean I’ve quit caring about the potential growth a new year can bring. I anticipate each year like the new chapter of a good book, where unexpected events will surely unfold. Each new year is a door to the unknown.
This year might include week-long head colds or things far worse. Whatever may come, my response to any challenge or difficulty is more important—spiritual maturity.
In his book, The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan speaks of the benefit of looking ahead to new days: “. . . what will happen matters more than what has happened.”
He said the past might be beyond repair, but we have the future: “vast, unbroken, pristine, radiant.”
That outlook agrees with Paul’s words to fellow believers. “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:13-14).
My own resolutions fail me. But I can handle a truer one—especially one that has the power to transform me. I want to be like Jesus. I’m resolved to keep following Him.
Blue Ribbon News special contributor Patti Richter works as journalist, writing news and feature stories, book reviews and more for many Christian publications. She lives in Heath with her husband Jim.
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