What Are We Really Resolving?

It’s mid-January.

This means a few things.

You’ve probably spent some time writing thank-you cards or making returns. You’ve probably also been reminded of what it’s like to have to scrape ice off your windshield. Several of you have definitely already read a handful of blogs and articles and post about New Year’s Resolutions and how to really make the most of your 2017, and several of you have already quit on your resolutions (let’s be honest).

Every year I deliberately set aside some time to sit down and reflect on what happened the past 365 days and think about what my big goals and prayers are for this year. In typical fashion, I sat down and reflected on 2016, which was extremely overwhelming. I tried to quickly move on to something more constructive: look at what is next.

As I began writing and bulleting items for 2017, I realized the biggest lie I’m believing is seen in mine and so many of my friends’ resolutions, hidden between the lines and letters of fitness and sacrificing time and resting more: we think God is holding out on us.

The word waiting is often used and I think it’s an important component of life, and especially, life with Jesus. Waiting for Him to return, waiting for an answer to a prayer, waiting for deliverance from our current situation. However, I think the idea of waiting sometimes leads me to longing – longing for something I don’t have.

And then longing leads to believing the Lord is withholding things from me: that He is keeping and hiding away His best gifts. That I have to work a little harder and be a little better to get the true inside, the ultimate promise land and my deepest dreams.

Look at your resolutions and goals for this year. I love working out and running, but getting more fit and having a healthier lifestyle can sometimes contort itself into a self-help mechanism to be better or seek further affirmation. If falling in love or getting engaged or furthering a relationship is on there, is it because we are letting the Lord write our stories and sing His redemption over our lives, or is it because we feel like He is holding out on us – a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a sparkly ring.

I think my issue with resolutions is quite simply this: I am trying to resolve something.

I’m naming the problem in my life – a low GPA, a little extra in my mid-section, an inability to manage time well, whatever it is – and I’m writing one bullet that I think will best heal it.

I’m resolving it.

I’m not looking at the Creator and asking Him to point out, Him to mold, Him to heal, but I’m putting it on a list, hanging it on my door, and reminding myself how determined I am to be better each time I leave my room.

Maybe resolutions aren’t what we need, but gentleness and patience are. Maybe decisions aren’t what’s required, but openness and thoughtfulness are.