A few years ago, I remember writing down around 40 New Year’s Resolutions that were each going to lead to having a better life and being a better person. This list consisted of everything from spending an hour in quiet time with God every day…to creating an entirely new exercise regimen…to drinking half my weight in water every day…to spending an hour of undistracted face time with each of my household daily. If I remember correctly, I spent most of January 1 coming up with this amazing list and consequently planning to begin on January 2…of course I woke up with a cold on January 2 and the wheels all flew off my plan.
Because of this (and many other years of epic-sized failures,) I’m not hugely into resolutions as it seems they are usually too big of a change to maintain and peter out before February…or so insignificant that they are reached quickly and I become bored with them and push them aside. So this year, I think I will try doing a progressive resolution (I have a friend who has done this with Lent: He starts with one thing that he gives up or takes on for the first week and then adds something to it each subsequent week through Lent so that it does not become easy over time and allows him to quit turning to prayer.) So, with the inspiration of my friend in mind, I am planning to do something similar with my personal New Year’s Resolutions this year: I have several goals that I would like to make part of my new year…some for a healthier body…some for a healthier mind…and some for a healthier spirit…and I am planning to do baby-steps into developing these into habits. (If I find that I have failed one day/week/month…no worries. Now is always a good time to start new.) Once one goal has become a habit, I can add to it another goal. In order to make this successful, I feel that I need to have a mission or theme…the goals need to be linked…not just random pie-in-the-sky ideas…so, my personal theme for 2016 is going to be health.
But I don’t exist as a just one person in isolation…my decisions don’t happen in a vacuum…so before I can implement my personal goals or theme, I need to make sure that they are in alignment with Team Massey’s goal or theme. So, I talked with the family a couple of days ago and asked them to join me in having a year’s resolution or theme for 2016. What we came up with was “Grit.” Team Massey is going to find ways to dig in and press on when things get tough this year. (But this is only after making sure that the thing we are doing is what we are called to do…not digging in where our own selfishness or sin is concerned.) An example is when the kids are doing school work that is difficult: Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, they will pay attention to their physical needs (take a break, go for a walk, eat a snack, or go back to the basics if necessary) and then try again and again until they have fully accomplished what was asked of them.
The thing is, Team Massey doesn’t exist in isolation either. We ultimately belong to God’s family so our theme must be in alignment with God’s word. What I like about grit is that it doesn’t mean to just finish something…you know what I mean…just finishing something with no regard to quality. It means finishing well and honorably:
“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” Colossians 3:22-25 MSG
So, I told you about it all in the reverse order of how I came up with it…but that is because I think that most of us think about resolutions as something that only affects ourselves. We think of changes we want to implement for “number one.” But, I don’t think that we make any decisions that only affect ourselves…it’s all a part of a bigger picture…a bigger community. That said, before you come up with resolutions this year, what community are you a part of? What changes would you like to see in the world? (For example, it really bothers me that many people don’t seem to hold themselves responsible in how they behave…it is always someone else’s fault…so I looked in scripture about what God thinks about it and went from there.). How can your family unit, and you as an individual, begin to enact the change that you want to see in our world? (Remember, that family unit isn’t just the people that you are related to…it’s the people that you have chosen to be your people…Consider making resolutions this year as a group first and then as an individual…being a part of a bigger family…a bigger mission…a bigger vision. Much love friends,