I stopped making actual *resolutions* years ago. I felt like every January I was just setting myself up for failure by *resolving* to do so many good-intentioned things. By April I was always painfully aware that I hadn't lost 15 lbs, I still swear when I stub my toe, and I am short temperered from time to tim.
So last year, I didn't resolve to do anything, but I did *ATTEMPT* to make a spiritual improvement in one area, verses 15 resolutions in the physical; I told God I would make an attempt to *DO THE HARD STUFF* this year. Well, God has quite the sense of humor, doesn't He? I was sure put to the test.
My Step-Brother died, My dog died, my Aunt died.... but I did the hard stuff that was required each time, versus just doing the bare minimum to get through the situation.
Now, I am not looking for sympathy, or to pat myself on the back. I want to encourage whoever is reading this to do the same. When a loved one dies, go to the nearest family and cry together.... make them a meal... clean their home, and above all, even when your tired of hearing about death, loss, and mourning...LISTEN TO THEM. Let them tell the story for the 100th time.
When the elderly neighbor needs a ride...give it to them and go even further by taking them out for a slice of pie. Listen to them talk. Make them feel alive and valued.
Go to the Childrens Cancer Ward, or wherever is hardest for you to go. For me, it's just attending the funeral that's hard. But you know, going, and plodding through gives the people you love support, and it makes you grow so much spiritually.
Make a list of the things you would like to do the very least, and then challenge yourself to *attempt* to do some of these. It makes you appreciate life and all the little things that normally get you down seem like water off a ducks back in comparison. You'll be a better person for it and you know what? This is where the rubber meets the road for a lot of Christians. It's the difference between lip-service and a servants heart.
My *attempts* for 2009? I haven't decided. I'm almost afraid I'll get what I ask for again. But you know, I'm richer for it. I have confidence through the strength of Christ that I didn't have before.
Attempt to do the hard stuff. It won't be easy, but it will be rewarding.
Happy New Years.