I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world's delight;
Things that are higher, things that are nobler--
These have allured my sight.
I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay;
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We'll walk the heav'nly way.
--Palmer Hartsough, from "I Am Resolved", a hymn of commitment
Today is the first day of a new year. It is a time when many people claim a fresh start, either to break a bad habit or to establish a good habit. Most people break their New Year's resolutions within the first couple of days. But still, it's not necessarily a bad idea to think of the new year as a time to resolve to change some things in our lives. The key to making it actually work is to depend on Christ for the strength to follow through with the resolution, and to seek His grace to help us get back on track when we fail. Another help is to tell people our resolutions and to ask them to keep us accountable to them.
In my lifetime of almost 42 years, I have actually kept two New Year's resolutions. The first was probably about six years ago. I wasted a lot of time playing computer games. True, I did some of this with my children, but many hours were wasted that could have been more profitably used. So I resolved not to play a single computer game for an entire year. God helped me keep that resolution. Not once during that year did I play a computer game. When the year was over, the habit was broken. Now I might play one every now and then, but the hold those games had on me is gone.
The second resolution I kept was the next year, I think. I had never read the Bible through in one year, so I resolved to do that. I started in Genesis 1 on January 1st of that year, and finished the last chapter of Revelation on the last day of December. There were days when I missed reading for various reasons, but I was always able to make that up. It was such a blessing, and helped to establish a daily reading habit I had not had before.
Today I am making three resolutions. By God's grace, I hope to keep them.
1. Spiritual: I resolve to set aside one extra hour each week for prayer. This is in addition to what I already do as part of my daily devotions, times of public prayer with our church family, and times of family prayer. I'm not sure where I will get that hour, but I've got a couple of ideas.
2. Physical: I resolve not to eat any foods containing any refined sugar of any kind. I have been plagued with one cold after another for about 4 months. Since the end of September, I have spent half my Sundays at home instead of in church because of sickness. Same for Wednesday night prayer meetings. Since even a little sugar can lower your immune system for several hours, it makes sense to me to cut the sugar out if I want to be healthier. This will mean reading labels to watch for sucrose, glucose, and a host of other "-ose's", corn syrup, modified corn syrup, and a bunch of other words that simply mean "sugar". Even molasses is a refined sweetner, though many people think of it as a healthy alternative. This year I am sticking with honey and fruit.
3. Emotional: I resolve to -- sorry, but I don't have the courage to post this one at this point. I'll let you know more about it later. I will tell you that it has to do with motherhood.
May God bless you in the new year.