Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Shine Your Light

Prom-ise noun: a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.
At the beginning of each brand new year, many people traditionally seek to set a goal for the coming twelve months. They may easily discuss this plan with those they know or quietly keep it to themselves, but the idea is the same: to do or accomplish something that they deem important which they've not done before - or at least not succeeded at.
It's as if January first is an automatic re-set of time, a second chance to actually form a new habit and DO what they've said they'd do. It is making a promise to one's self, if you will. Most often, however, these promises fall by the wayside before ever being fully kept.
Re-solve verb: to make a definite and serious decision to do something.
But if we definitely know what the goal is and take it seriously, why do we so often fail? There probably are many reasons. Perhaps we aren't specific enough in our own minds about what it is we want to do. Losing ten or twenty pounds might be a worthy goal, but without a detailed plan as to exactly how we plan to do this the chance of success is practically nil.
Maybe we aren't as committed as we think we are. Resolving to set aside a certain amount of money in a savings account by a particular deadline is also laudable, but if we're easily swayed by that "must-have" item and think we'll save double next month, the plan is easily foiled. All our good intentions go swiftly down the drain and we're back to square one...
We've all heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don't know about that, but I do know that intending and doing are two different things. If it were a matter of life or death to lose those ten to twenty pounds, we'd likely figure out how to do so. Assuming we had adequate means, saving that money would be a priority if it meant sending our kids on in school. It's all about whatever we decide to do - clearly defining that and taking it seriously. It's about gut-level determination. 
"Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today.
Let us begin."
Mother Teresa
New Year's resolutions need not concern only ourselves and our personal desires. They can encompass any number of ideas and/or people. Within any given group, individuals can put their heads together and come up with agreed-upon goals well worth pursuing. Discussing and reaching consensus can be trying, but actually acting upon the task(s) is truly monumental.

I honestly believe that most of us can do whatever we set our minds on doing. If we look back on this past year, we can see that this is true. Over the course of a lifetime, each of us makes decisions - carefully calculated and well-considered or rapid-fire and instantaneous - that determine how we will act. As we move forward into 2014, perhaps we need a new vision - one that is clear and specific - as to how we will best live this life we've been given. No matter our age, as long as we are alive, there is meaningful work to do. We need not be concerned with how big the challenge, but only that we play a part - one small step at a time, one moment to the next, forward towards a goal. It's a brand new year and the clock is ticking... Let's get out there and DO IT!

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."       
Matthew 5:14-16

1 comment:

  1. I gave up on New Year's resolutions long ago, but after reading your post I feeling a stirring to make one and I know what it will be. Thanks for the summery photos, which are much appreciated this time of year.