Not Another Resolution
Thanksgiving and Christmas are filled with memories of the year behind. New Year’s is almost here and I wonder what it will bring, goals to aspire, and things relinquish. Goals and dreams get dusted off and hope is renewed. This New Year I want more than resolutions that go incomplete!
Often this time of year brings emotions or an unsettledness that can hover like a fog lacking clarity or form. Feeling something grey that can’t be define or explain. The dream becomes outrageous. The hope is reduced to a reality check. My reality and my ability come into focus reducing my expectations to minimal levels. This sounds like depression but it’s not. I call it acceptance.
When this reality check invades my thoughts I get stuck on accepting the things I believe I can’t change. The things I really hope for, goals, and ambitions seem stuck in my limited thinking. I get stuck in the Serenity Prayer, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. I lack muster to finish; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. My memories, my thinking, my reality encourage me to accept nothing will change. For This New Year I am rewriting this prayer to the Prayer of Courage.
Lord God fill me with courage to change the things I should change, the wisdom to know what I can’t change, and Your Peace to accept the difference.
Courage to Change
My direction, if I am moving away from God I need to change directions and move toward Him. Not because He has rules and extreme expectations for my life. Not because people who turn toward God are a bunch of hypocritical, judgmental, near-do-wells. Because God loves me and has plans for my life that are better than anything I can even imagine. Because I will be sharing life with others, like me, who don’t have it figured out, don’t behave perfectly, and even hurt people but recognize we can help each other get a little better every day. Without God in my life I can’t do the rest.
My view of others. Everyone has a story and issues. When you encounter me on my bad day I want you to understand. That means I have to understand when I encounter you on your bad day. Put myself in your shoes, empathize with your situation, and pray the courage prayer for you. Love people where they are, how they are, regardless of anything else because God loved me when I was at my worst. God loves through people.
My view of myself. Self-talk and self-care are important. How well I do at that depends on what I believe. Through life’s struggle we all begin to accept things about ourselves we believe to be true. They aren’t. The reason I would reduce my dreams and goals was because I believed that was all I was worthy of. Others believe they deserve much but still feel like they haven’t gotten all they deserve. It takes courage to confront what you think about yourself. Benign or malicious things can be twisted into beliefs that are based in lies.
Wisdom to know what I can’t change.
God Truth is beyond time. God loves us, everyone. There is no one that is too far gone for God to not accept and love them. God has a desire to bless you, direct you, and use you. God won’t force you to do anything. He’s a gentleman, He always waits for you to talk to Him, and always give you the choice.
God gave all people free-will. We can’t force someone to behave or do something they don’t want to. God will never force them. Unfortunately that means they are free to do hurtful or evil things. I control me. You control you. People can love unlovable people. And people can do very unlovable things. I can’t control what you are going to do but I can control how I respond to you.
Peace to accept.
- I have to accept my choices, good and bad.
- I am responsible for who I let influence me and my choices.
- I am responsible for how I respond to others behavior.
- I can love and share life with others.
- I can love from afar.
What others say about me doesn’t define me. How others treat me doesn’t determine my worth. God created life. I am alive and God doesn’t make junk – that defines me. God values me.
Pray This New Year
I want more than a resolution, I want a transformation that will last beyond 2016. Pray the Courage Prayer and as you do start going through the things I have identified above. Make them personal to you and your situation. Take time to be still and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. If you are not sure how to get started, comment below and I will email you the beginnings of a prayer for each day of January. The key to a great New Year is connecting with God in prayer each day.
Lord God fill me with courage to change the things I should change, the wisdom to know what I can’t change, and Your Peace to accept the difference. I want to draw closer to You This New Year. By the end of the year I want to celebrate the changes I will make with your help and the peace I need in many areas of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.