For the last several years, it has been my practice that in December I enter into a time of reflection on the closing year, and goal setting for the next.
They say that something like only 8% of New Years Resolutions are kept, and I’ve certainly made regular contributions to the 92% failure rate. Yet in spite of all those ‘failed’ resolutions, I have made great progress towards the fulfilling of some of my recurring resolutions. For example, while I still haven’t reached the level of physical and mental fitness that is required for me to run a 5K non-stop, I have discovered that I like to walk/jog – and I’ve completed at least five 5K’s since my first in 2012. I’m now looking forward to restarting my C25K training this spring, but with a body prepared over the winter with strength and flexibility exercises. Progress!
Nor do I weigh what I want (and ought) to weigh. Yet I have completely changed my eating habits over the last 6-7 years with even more changes being implemented in 2015, and as a result I am better positioned than ever to live strong well into my 90’s. Progress!
As I vision cast for 2015, an image comes to mind … that of a seedling imprisoned by stone, yet pressing onward into life. These wonders of nature are even more inspiring when they are seen growing out of the side of a vertical rock cliff. One can only imagine their journey from seed to seed-producing and bird-sheltering trees that survive season after season, decade after decade.
In my mind’s eye, I envision a lone seed being dropped by bird or squirrel, later washed by flowing currents of rain deep into the crags between opposing rocks.
In darkness, the seed finds a little pocket of dirt, just enough to enrobe itself with the necessary soil, moisture, and organisms required to initiate the transformation from seed to seedling.
Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19, NIV)
Time passes and from the safety of its craggy entombment, tender tendrils of life emerge. Against all odds, the seedling presses through dirt and rock to receive nourishment of the morning sun. Eventually, the seedling outgrows the confines of its home. It is root bound and has used up every millimeter of space for its ever increasing trunk. As a result, access to the root system has been blocked for rainwater and airflow. What once was shelter has now become a prison, and the young tree is entrapped and compromised. The situation appears hopeless.
Have you ever felt like that? I have!
Now about this time I expect you are asking yourself, “What in the world does this have to do with new years resolutions?”
For with perseverance, even a 1-day old seedling can eventually force the rock to move out of its way so that it can grow into full maturity as an adult tree!
This truth gives me great comfort as I make New Years Resolutions for 2015 that are echo’s of 2014 resolutions, and 2013 resolutions and so on. After so many failed attempts to _______________, the temptation is to either lessen one’s goals to something believed as more readily achievable, or to discard those dreams altogether. I mean, who needs yet another reminder on 1/1/2016 of ones failure to _________?
But not this year! I shall not quit pressing on for the dream of what is in my heart to do, for I know that with perseverance of faith and continued obedience to His leading, I will eventually see manifestation of what which I am presently believing God for. The mountain WILL move!
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (Ephesians 3:20, The Message)
So here’s to 2015! Let us dream big, and press on to take hold of all that God has put in our hearts to become, and to do for the glory of His Name!