“Time to Shape up”
“Drink less coffee”
“Drink more coffee.”
Every year millions of people across the globe resolve to change their ways by eliminating certain things from their life and adding new things. Whether it’s cutting ice cream intake down to once per week, or adding a 7 minute workout to the morning routine, we gravitate toward self-improvement and naturally so. It’s a fun dream we chase.
We get a tax refund and think of all the exciting possibilities with our fresh financial break-through.
We break out a fresh, brand new calendar, or scroll to the next year’s page on our smart phones and tablets and look at January 1 with glaring eyes of determination, promising ourselves that this year will be different.
This is it!
New Year, New You!!!!
But it’s not a ‘new you’, it’s still… well… how do I put this? You!
The same you.
It’s the same you that really really loves ice cream and hates throwing on a pair of sweats and running for 10 minutes in the freezing cold. It’s the same you that was pounding three cups of coffee back on top of only 5 hours of sleep making your way to drop your kids off at day-care so you can work the same job and hopefully get back home in time to watch 20 minutes of the same show on Netflix while you fall asleep on the couch, except you can’t because you have to make dinner. And go to bed.
You. Yep, that’s what you’ve got. December 31st and January 1st right through December 31st again.
Now upon hearing that, you’ve probably tried to hold back a scowl or you can’t help but be overcome with some sort of grimace, because, sadly, it’s February, and you’re starting to realize that all you’ve got is you. And you’re not okay with you.
Maybe you’re reading this post and you love yourself and that’s great and dandy, but for the rest of us who struggle with our shortcomings, and want to strive to change our lives up maybe just a bit to be more productive, spend more time with family, get more organized or for goodness’ sake JUST GET THE DISHES WASHED AND THE CLOTHES PUT UP, there is hope. And that hope is well… you.
You see, your past and your present both play into your perspective.You can’t change everything about yourself, because you are created unique. While you can change the fact that you over-indulge in espresso, you can’t change the fact that you have, in-fact, been one who over-indulges in espresso. While you can change your attitude towards your family and co-workers, you can’t change the fact that your attitude has already been poor.
But all these past circumstances and experiences lead you to your current situation and your current situation involves your greatest commodity: you. And secondarily, your time. You and your time are the greatest determining factors of who you can be tomorrow, and it all starts today, right now, this instant.
When you look at a new calendar what do you see? Probably a lot of blank space right? I personally love blank space, and not the Taylor Swift song, though the Mashup that one girl and her guy-pal did in the street was pretty nifty. To understand what I’m talking about, click here. Oh but who am I kidding everyone loves T-Swizz. But I digress.
One of my favorite things is to look at a blank calendar full of blank space because what I see when I look at the empty squares is different then what some people see. I see potential. It wasn’t always this way though. I used to dread a calendar, but in fact, now when I look at a calendar I look at each individual box and I begin to dream about how, individually, these single empty boxes can work together to form the greatest year yet.
Why? Because you and your time, is all you need. Maybe you don’t know have a ton of job skills, but at least you know how to read,(assuming you made it this far,) and a few minutes of reading and trying your hand could land you a new job opportunity.
You can’t run a half-marathon, but luckily you can take a few steps today that will turn into a jog tomorrow and a 5k by the end of the month!
You haven’t memorized every book in the bible and you can’t quote John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11, and Philippians 4:13, but you certainly can read a verse today and write it down.
What generally happens around mid-December is we step on a scale, go to a church, browse through a book store, have a fight with our spouse, or check our bank account and realize we didn’t make it! But “it” is relevant, and if we realize that “it,” will never truly arrive, as you can always improve, then we can lower the expectation bar, and begin to live our dreams!
The problem is that we dream of becoming a different version of us and we put all our eggs into the January 1st basket and by January 7th, become discouraged. But I have good news! The story doesn’t end on January 7th! There’s today! And there is you!
Psalm 139:14 says “. . . I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
If we decide that today has potential and so do we, we can make a change by embracing the simple things in life that add up to big dividends! A prayer today is a prayer life tomorrow! A pushup today is a toned physique in a month or two, and rose for your spouse can spark a new zeal in your marriage over the course of this year.
As fickle as we might be, as frustrated as we might get, consistency is key, and we are all we’ve got to make it happen! Let’s not resolve to be different, persay, but let’s resolve to enjoy our strengths, embrace our shortcomings, and somewhere in between take one step, one day at a time to see great gains in our lives for the long-haul, rather than in the immediate moment! Let’s not resolve to be different. Let’s resolve to be devoted!
So, before we throw this year to scraps and glare back at the missed bible-plan readings, trips to the buffet, and pile of dishes in the sink, what do you say we look into the eyes of a God who is able to take anything small and turn it into something big, and glance at today’s blank space and resolve that you are enough! And your time is in your hands. You matter! And your day matters!
So why did your New Year’s resolution fail? The answer is simple: You.
But what hope do you have? You!