The New Year’s resolutions have been made. We’re excited about a fresh start. Out with the old – in with the new! Right?
That’s the hope, isn’t it? Isn’t that why we love this season? New Years brings a fresh round of “Change Your _____, Change Your Life!” Have you ever played this game? It begins with “If Only…”.
If only I lose weight…
If only I move…
If only I find a new job…
If only I find a good partner…
Then my life would change.
We might lose the weight, or relocate; we might find the job or the new spouse. Or we don’t. The outcome doesn’t necessarily settle the disillusionment we feel because we thought for sure things would be better this time, “If only.”
Why is that? Because the saying is true:
Wherever you go, there you are.
Have you ever thought about what this really means? We get so focused on changing our externals that we forget this simple truth: Most external issues flow out of internal issues. We who are in recovery may understand this more than most. We’ve had to be brutally honest with ourselves about both the internals and externals. Because no matter where you go or how much weight you lose, inside you are still you. We still experience the same trials, the same struggles, the same unhelpful thought patterns. We will do the same thing again and again and expect different results.
I started re-reading the book of Joshua today. The Israelites are about to cross the Jordan to head into the Promised Land. God gives Joshua a string of directives and things to remember, ending with, “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9).
The Israelites had a few things they needed to work on. They needed to trudge forward without fear. They needed to remember the instructions God gave Moses on how to live, meditating on them day and night. They needed to choose courage and not discouragement. And finally, they needed to remember that wherever you go, there God is.
What would happen if in 2014, we played the, “Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life” game?
What would happen if we began the New Year focused on who He is rather than who we want to become?
How about we make it goal to take God at His Word in 2014, no matter what comes our way, meditating on that Word day and night? What if we allow God’s Word and His Holy Spirit to change the internals and allow the external changes to flow out of God remaking us from the inside out? What if we choose hope and courage instead of fear and disillusionment? If we really believe that nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 17:20), and we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), if we truly believe God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), how drastically different will our lives be?
Wherever you go, there God is.
This New Year, Don’t Try to Lose Weight, by David Johnson
Try New Things, video resource
Eleven Keys to a Healthy Lifestyle, by Constance Rhodes