Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Year Resolutions One Month Later – Lawrence

Today, is January 30th, the penultimate day of January. The first month of 2008 is almost over and what has been accomplished? Many people, including Christians, will have given up on New Year resolutions made with good intentions and so much hope in December. Perhaps, they are now filled with despair and think it’s not worth trying again ­­when, at this moment, they are filled with feelings of failure.

I look back in my journal and see that on December 31st 2007 I wrote, The last day of 2007. What does this mean in your eyes, O Lord? Each day is the same with you; a New Year is only a way for us to keep track of our time and our days. To you, O Lord, one day is as another. We go on trying to grow and mature in the Holy Spirit. We struggle with new lessons; we learn our lessons; sometimes we learn our lessons by rote only to find that they are quickly forgotten; sometimes we learn God’s lessons in our hearts and souls and we grow in the fruit of the Spirit.

When we don’t learn new lessons the first time, we are presented with the lessons again and again—not so that we become disheartened by the repetition, but rather that we will be heartened and encouraged by our growth however slow it appears to us.

We live in a world where so much is instantaneous—we can make a hot cup of coffee in a minute in the microwave; reconstitute orange juice from concentrate in the time it takes to remove the concentrate from the freezer, put it in a jug, add three cups of water and stir. We can talk to someone without travelling to the place where she lives; we can write to that same person and it can be read by her one second later when she opens her e-mail.

But lessons of the soul and spirit are learned more slowly—one day at a time; one part of a lesson at a time. It takes time for the fruit of the Spirit to grow and mature—but it does and will if only we keep asking the Holy Spirit to aid us in our learning.

So, if you feel discouraged that your New Year resolutions have failed so soon after you made them, take heart and be encouraged; try again, but do not try alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to assist you. It takes time to grow a spiritual garden and we can begin at any time—we don’t have to wait for another New Year’s Day. The moment of the Holy Spirit is this moment, new every morning, not just the morning of the New Year.

1 comment:

Linda Wegner said...

A good reminder, Judith. How easily we can get discouraged - I just have to check my journal from day to day to confirm that. But using the same reference point, I marvel at the faithfululness of our God!

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