2009. It's gonna be fine!
Not fine as in, "Hey how are you?" "Oh..I'm fine."
But fine as in, "Oooh, that be fine!"
I was talking to a friend the other night about New Year's resolutions. Actually, I prefer to call them revolutions - more gets done, that way. Well, my friend so wisely reminded me that we should be making "revolutions" all the time; we should constantly be examining our lives to see what needs to change or improve, and then we should ask God to kindly help us in our daunting endeavor. But, we decided after some discussion that the New Year is a friendly and helpful marker to put a date on our goals, and to crack down on those bad habits.
So here they are...My New Year's Revolutions (in no particular order):
1. wake up early
2. work out at least 3 times a week
3. do something active once a day
4. memorize more scripture
5. run a 1/2 marathon
6. think on Jesus more
7. cook at home more
8. write more
9. read more
10. be quiet more
I keep them vague, not to avoid actually accomplishing them, but because revolutions build. Revolutions rarely start out fully defined at the beginning, rather, they begin with some sort of unrest. Then this unrest is pinpointed and developed into seeking out a solution, and this solution turns into a revolution. I guarantee you the Revolutionary war didn't begin because of just one cause - unrest developed into a list of reasons for the revolt, and then revolution ensued.
My revolutions are a result of retrospect, into the year 2008. By looking at this list, you get a sort of antithesis to what 2008 looked like for me. I didn't get up early, I didn't cook at home, and so on. These are broad categories, but in my reflectiveness on where I saw failure in 2008, I see this list as a moving upward and onward into 2009.
I have come to sum up 2008 for myself using two words: independence and selfishness. I definitely grew up last year - I feel like I learned more about what it means to be an adult, have a job, make some money, spend too much money, save money, take care of myself, not rely on other people, and just make all my decisions for myself. I had a lot of freedom, and out of that freedom grew independence. But out of that independence, selfishness reared its ugly head. I did what I wanted when I wanted, and I not only didn't think I needed other people and their help, but I didn't want it. There was no surrender to others or to the Lord, because it was mine - this life was for me.
Looking back, I see how my independence brought me confidence and a strong sense of identity, but it also brought me a lot of disregard for things that didn't concern me. I'm relearning this balance.
Sometimes I think I have to tip the scales in order to learn how to keep them even. My words for 2009: discipline and grace. It seems selfishness drives out necessary discipline, and independence has the ability to scare away grace. I never want to get to the point where I am more important than the life and training He has called me to, and I never want to be so assured that my competence might be better than His grace.
So I'm packing my independent bags and reaching for the thought that maybe I need someone, someday at least. And I'm going to start the slow process of killing off selfishness - this will be harder than it seems, I'm afraid. And I'm going to start whispering the stern words of discipline and the kind comforts of grace, and maybe, just maybe.....a revolution will break out.