Are New Year’s Resolutions going to change us?

We spent Christmas with YD and family. After the Christmas Eve service and dinner, my daughter read their daily Advent devotional from Ann Voscamp’s book. I haven’t stopped thinking about Ann’s image of trying to wipe my world clean with dirty rags.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

I didn’t think I was trying to make my world perfect, but when I went to bed that night I began my usual scan of the day, thinking of good things, but also going over things done and left undone, said or unsaid that I could/should have done differently. Besides being a terrible way to get my brain to shut down and drift off to sleep, I realized I was actually trying to correct my day, or make preparations to fix it the next day.

To wipe my day clean with dirty rags.

But I can’t change my mistakes and omissions. No amount of analyzing what I have done or confessing will ever make a perfect day.

That’s why God had to come as a human being


to enter our very dirty world, walk through the muck of it all, to take on everything the enemy has to throw at us, including death — and triumph.

Resurrected, he came out absolutely clean and alive.

Promising fresh new life for us all.

Why would I want to ignore that, keep up my silly efforts with my filthy cloths?

How many New Year’s Resolutions are going to change what I am working with? — Frail humanity and a world infested with evil, sickness and death

Oh yes, there is beauty all around me. There are wonderful, lovable people. I’m blessed with a whole family full of them, and friends.

And I relish all the ways God speaks through nature, and the creative processes of the arts.

But none of it will ever make me good enough. Or make me impervious to the pain of loss.

My New Year’s Resolution is to give up trying so hard to get it right. To trust him to make it so.

To relax, and go for the water of life.

This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies— they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’ —the coyotes and the buzzards— Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.

Isaiah 43 16-21 MSG

Just give me Jesus

What are your goals for the new year?

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