Every time I hold my newborn daughter, I am reminded of the excitement and miracle involved in something new. Perhaps that is why so many people look forward to New Years and make resolutions for positive changes. But just like my daughter was born in late November, starting over with a clean slate in a certain area doesn’t have to wait until January 1.
Not only can a fresh start or something new come at any time, but you also don’t have to go it alone. The birth of new life is one of the most miraculous events proving that God is at work. He also wants to work in the lives of those much older, giving us a clean slate and a new spiritual life. Beyond that, He wants to help us in every area of our lives.
It is ironic how Christians trust God with eternal life and salvation, yet often neglect to include Him in all the little details of everyday living. Though it sounds a little silly to some, I find myself asking God for help with all sorts of tasks. In the same way that my baby relies on me in every area, we cannot live up to our full potential without God.
Some people really want to change and then get frustrated when they mess up or have a setback. Just like God shows us grace, we should also show ourselves grace and not lose heart when we don’t perform perfectly. If babies gave up the first time they fell, nobody would ever learn to crawl, walk, and eventually run.
Most resolutions only last a few months, or maybe even a few weeks. Perhaps that is why resolutions get a bad rap. It takes many months and even years for babies to learn everything they need to know. In fact, we all keep learning until we die. Nobody expects a newborn to walk or talk and then gets frustrated with the child when he or she doesn’t do so by a certain date. So why should we put so much pressure on ourselves? Any movement or effort in the right direction is an improvement from where you started.
A better way to look at change and new habits is to set “goals” rather than “resolutions.” Simply labeling it differently sounds more positive and less like a duty. It also eliminates such rigid time restraints. All babies develop a little differently, and that doesn’t change with adulthood. One person may lose 20 pounds in six weeks, while it takes another person six months to do the same.
I wonder how many people are close to receiving their miracle or reaching their goal but give up too soon. It takes approximately 40 weeks for a new human life to grow and develop, so we shouldn’t lose hope or give up after a few weeks of dieting or living on a budget. No matter what you want to see change or become new this year, trust in God to help you keep at it until you reach your goals.
*This article was originally written for Kids Life Magazine.