It’s a brand new year. For all the resolution nay-sayers, the new year holds so much meaning to me! It’s a rather sacred time in my life… set aside for specific goals that I commit to making yearly with one of my dear friends (see this blog post for more on that annual discipline). However, I realize, many people feel disillusioned with the idea of trying (what feels pointlessly at times) to change themselves, stripping vices from their lives and accruing new healthy habits, as if trying them on for size guarantees a new favorite dress.
Usually, I am ready to jump on January 1 like it is a trampoline, launching me into the new year with vigor. This year has been a little different. I have mulled over my goals, seeing how they feel, deciding which goals are worth pursing now, and which ones need to wait.
Some people are overwhelmed by the sheer idea of setting goals or even sorting through their own dreams. The looming question always is: what if I fail? This is a valid and timeless fear to which no one is immune. My remedy to this fear, as well as to what I’ll call “The-New-Year’s-Resolutions-Blues” is something my dad has been preaching to me for a while– to take things one day at a time.
Aren’t all our years made of days? What if we lived intentionally today, working with what we have, keeping our goals (and God’s) in our minds, but not consumed by the big picture? What if we were intent on following the Spirit’s guidance, one step at a time. What if all our gumption and resolution were made up of the little tiny “now”? Of course, that is indeed the truth, and astoundingly, God has promised us new mercies every single day. It’s like he knew after a long, exhausting day, we would need another day that didn’t have to match its predecessor. Now that, my friends, is grace upon grace.
Maybe you don’t know if you can really wake up at 5 a.m. every morning to work out, or if you can write that book you’ve been dreaming of, or if you can actually pack your kids’ lunch everyday, or forgo Taco Bell, or read through the entire Bible, or not nag your husband. The struggle is real, but what if we just wake up each morning with intention and call that enough? We decide to pray for patience instead of lose our cool. We decline dessert. We laugh instead of yell when something (or someone) is driving us crazy. We set a timer for today’s work and work with all our hearts, then slow down and savor dinner with our families. We walk outside simply because it’s beautiful, and not just because we should. Yes, choosing for today is enough, and we can choose it all again tomorrow. A whole year seems a lot more manageable when composed of todays.
The new year is simply a chance to welcome a new day, full of wonder, possibility, adventure, and a whole lot of plain old normal.
Perhaps you are not a New Year’s resolution-setter, but I think everyone can be a new day accepter and appreciator.
As you wake today, open your hands to receive today as the gift it is. Perhaps you wake with your eye on a dream, ready to take necessary steps, or perhaps you rise only to recommit yourself to the noble act of living and loving well. Today is indeed the day the Lord has made. We can rejoice and be glad!