Many Happy New Year Wishes, my friends! It’s a brisk, yet refreshing time-of-year when we have an opportunity to begin anew! This week, the gyms will be over-crowded with people determined to begin reaching their fitness goals; the storage shops are full of people determined to get organized; the travel websites are visited by people intending to travel more this year; the financial sites are full of people looking to spend less and save more this year – all worthy goals.
Several years ago, as the calendar year before came to a close, I made a resolution to fix absolutely everything that was wrong in my life. My resolution that year was to: 1) get in shape spiritually 2) get in shape physically 3) get in shape financially 4) fix every broken relationship in my life. I was earnest in my desires – I really was! And I started like gangbusters, spending at least an hour in the gym every day, an hour doing devotionals, time balancing my checkbook, and trying to reach out to improve every single relationship in my life. Looking back at it now, it seems ridiculously pie-in-the-sky to make such unrealistic and unachievable goals, but at the time, I genuinely wanted to improve every area of my life! It’s not an unworthy goal; just an unrealistic one.
Within about 6 weeks, I completely burned out on all of them. I had to force myself to regroup and focus on ONE area while making smaller, incremental improvements in the other areas. I didn’t STOP working other areas, but I found it was not very practical to make leaps-and-bounds improvements in EVERY area of life.
I focused first on my spiritual life and began to live my life more intentionally seeking God’s will and plan for my life. As I did that, I found the other areas fell more into line with His teaching. As I focused on Him, my compassion for others grew. I continued to tithe; in fact, I increased my tithe, and He poured out blessings. I began to budget in a way to make Dave Ramsey proud. I eventually got my physical self into shape, but then became complacent and let myself go. It’s time, once again, to get on the bandwagon; this time, a few years later, a few years wiser (hopefully); a few miles closer to Him.
What I learned since my last go-round – to bring God into EVERYTHING we do, putting Him first and allowing everything else to fall into place is certainly a much better recipe for success. He makes ALL THINGS NEW!