So it's a new year. Hmmm.
If you haven't heard or read about how I like to do new year's resolutions, I'll quickly summarize. If you have, you can skip the rest of this paragraph. In 2008, my sister's pastor, Mike Ashcraft of Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC, challenged his congregation. Instead of making new year's resolutions that they'd never keep, he encouraged them to focus on one word. It's much easier to make progress if you put all of your focus on one goal.
In 2008, my word was contentment. Last year it was self-discipline. By no means have I gotten where I need to be with both of these goals, but I made progress. Both years, the word I chose was constantly in the back of my mind and I thought about, prayed about, and worked on it a lot. Choosing my word in the past has been an interesting process. This year, I knew what I wanted my word to be long before the breaking dawn of 2010.
My word for 2010 is finish.
I like finishing things. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. It gives me peace. It feels good to look back at the journey from beginning to end. The problem is, I'm much better at starting things than I am finishing them. I have started diets, exercise programs, books, bible studies, daily planners, craft projects, cleaning projects, gardening projects, budgets, businesses and yes...even blogs...only to abandon them for some other new exciting idea.
I often have great vision but I really stink at follow through. So it's time for me to become more focused. It's time to finish. I'm going to choose a couple of specific major things that I want to finish before the end of 2010. And then my goal will be to finish lots of little things as they come up through the year. I guess part of this exercise will be thinking long and hard before I start something because starting something is going to require finishing something from now on.
Some things are never finished. And it's frustrating. Laundry for example. Even if every piece of clothing we owned was clean and put away leaving the hampers completely empty (which has never actually happened), there's always the clothes on our bodies and soon...more laundry. Don't even get me started on cleaning. Cleaning with small children is like shoveling snow during a blizzard.
On a spiritual note, sometimes I get discouraged in my christian walk knowing that I will never be "finished" in this life. God has a plan for my life but alas, I will not be glorified here. As much as I desire to be more like Christ, I will never be completely Christ-like as long as I live. As long as I have this flesh and live in this fallen world, I will not finish the process of sanctification. But it's not about my glory, it's about God's and he promises in his word:
...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
And while I may not be "finished" until heaven, the work that was done on the cross was complete to cover my sin and get me there.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
In about 361 days, another year will be finished. And I hope to cross a few things off my list as well. Please feel free to share your "one word" in the comments if you have one. Or better yet, blog about it and leave a link. Happy New Year!