Every year it’s the same. We make promises to ourselves about how we are going to change things for the better this year. This year is going to be different. This year we will finally set some goals and reach them. This year we are going to move more, eat less, have a daily quiet time, call our grandparents or parents, volunteer more, cut down on stress, go to bed earlier, have multiple people over for dinner while impacting the world for Christ! So, in the first few days of January things start to look better. Morning devotions are going okay. The workout at the gym is hard, but changing your outlook. And you’re on a Molasses and Lemonade ONLY “cleanse” to get rid of all that junk you ate over Christmas.
But then – the same thing that happened last year happens again. Life rushes back in, the stress increases and we head towards our default settings. End result? Nothing changed. This is why we can’t lose weight and keep it off. It’s why we always feel behind. It’s why nothing in the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, sounds even vaguely familiar after somewhere around the 12th of February.
If you want to change this year I suggest you put that list of goals aside and take good long look at your heart. The reason nothing changes is because your heart hasn’t changed. It’s right there in the red letters of Matthew 6:21. Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” The country duo, Brooks & Dunn, had a song a few years ago with this reminder in it. In the song, Believe, a young man asks a neighbor how he’s dealt with the pain he’s faced in life. The old man looks at him and says –
I raise my hands, bow my head,
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see
So this year, instead of setting a bunch of goals that would make me feel better about myself – I think I’m going to get on my knees and repent and I’m going to ask God to help me build the list He has in mind for me in 2016. Then I’m going to open my Bible – not my iPad or smartphone with a Bible App (way too many distractions), but the real thing with the thin pages and the gold edges, and I’m going to pay more attention to the letters written in red this year.