Did you make any resolutions for 2019? It’s seventeen days into the new year, so are you still sticking to that/those resolution/s?
The subject of New Year’s resolutions brings to mind a period in my life back in the late-1970s and early-1980s. I was in my twenties, married with a couple of young children, and had my whole life ahead of me. My goals included:
- Attending night college to earn a degree so I could ascend the Kodak corporate ladder.
- Following a fitness regime that included running, weight lifting, and eating a very clean diet. My plan was to die a very healthy one-hundred-and-ten-years-old.
- Becoming more spiritual. I was a Roman Catholic at the time and I knew all about institutional religiosity, but I desired to find “something” that really fulfilled my soul.
To the above ends, each December I went to the local stationary store and bought a red, hardcover, At-A-Glance Standard Diary-Daily Reminder (see photo) for the upcoming new year. Wow! Those things were expensive and they still are; $31.54 at Amazon! The idea was that every day of the year, I would diligently record my efforts to improve my mind, body, and spirit. In fact, that became my personal mantra: “Mind, Body, and Spirit.”
So how did I do? Well, I was attending night college at the time and definitely making progress toward improving my mind and earning a degree. I was also pretty good about working out and eating well. But becoming more spiritual? What did that mean? I had no answer for that one. I wasn’t a regular at mass. Did becoming more spiritual mean delving back into Catholic ritualism, legalism, and formalism? I’d been down that road as an altar boy for four years in grammar school and I knew that wasn’t the answer.
So my impressive daily diary was filled with henscratch ONLY under the categories of “mind” and “body” for the months of January, February, and March, but I usually fizzled out after that. The following December, I would go out and buy ANOTHER expensive diary and begin the process all over again. Repeat cycle. Repeat cycle. This went on for several years. At some point, I got the very bright idea that becoming “more spiritual” might include reading the Bible. Well, that was a life-changing thought! Through God’s Word and several other factors the Lord led me to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. In 1983, I repented of my sin and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone.
I’m no longer thrashing about, trying to become generically “more spiritual.” I know exactly who my Savior and Shepherd is and my goal is to better serve Him each day by His grace.
Billions of people in this world would like to be “more spiritual.” They try a multitude of different approaches. But Jesus Christ is the only way to spiritual truth and life. Resolutions and goals are fine and can be helpful, but if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone, you’re on a spiritual Titanic and nothing else really matters.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
Update: As for climbing the corporate ladder, that dream fizzled out years ago with Kodak’s plunging fortunes. I eventually did earn a degree in 2000, which has helped keep me employed at a company that has leaked employees like a sieve for the last thirty-four years. My only goal now in that regard is to retire in one or two more years. As for that old fitness regime… Fitness? What’s that?