At the start of 2012, I made some New Year’s resolutions. I typically don’t do this. In my own head, a resolution set is a resolution I immediately set out to ignore, avoid, or attempt without hope of much success. Call me an optimist.
I have a propensity to set unrealistic goals for myself. Despite knowing this, I still demand perfection. I’m going to lose 25 pounds in the next three months. I’m going to work out every day—NO EXCUSES! I’m going to write a new blog EVERY WEEK without fail. Is it any wonder I avoid resolutions like the plague?
I have a long history of setting myself up for failure. I’m actually quite successful at it. So, can you imagine what it was like for me to read, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28) I read this in my first year of being a Christian. 16 years and dozens of failed resolutions later, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it.
Left to my own devices, I create incredibly heavy burdens that wrap a yoke around my neck that fit as comfortably as an itchy wool turtleneck two sizes too small. Worse, I lurch around carrying this heavy weight, barely able to breathe, complaining and acting like it was God who gave me this burden in the first place.
However, as I have experienced the love and grace of others who demand far less of me than I do of myself, as I continue to study God’s Word, and as I am learning that I am not capable of much of anything without the God who is capable of everything, I am beginning to replace the unreasonable demands I put on myself with the grace and gentleness from the Shepherd who leads me beside still waters.
My 2012 resolutions actually worked out pretty well. Far from perfect in my execution, I was able to stick to them on some days, and others...well, not blog worthy. But my Shepherd is absolutely resolute in His grace for me. This year, I’m seeking to focus on His unwavering, holy resolve instead of mine. Maybe this is the kind of resolution I can actually keep.