Have you given up your New Year's resolutions yet?
Most people have by now.
In fact, most people gave up on their goals back on January 12th!
Some of us are still holding onto hope. Still, it's pretty likely that we, too, are losing resolution momentum.
Why is that? Why do most of our resolutions fall apart so soon?
Certainly, we can blame lack of willpower. But, it's probably more likely that they fail due to a lack of having true vision, strategy, and support.
Yet, sometimes our plans fail for another reason.
Often, we blaze ahead, trying to push ourselves into places where God isn't leading.
But how do we know if we are in alignment with God's will?
Sometimes the road ahead is clearly marked. At other times, we move forward in faith, trusting that the trajectory we are on is right where God would have us.
Sometimes the road ahead is clearly marked. At other times, we move forward in faith, trusting that the trajectory we are on is right where God would have us
And, there are other times, where the road ahead is so foggy and undefined that no matter what we do, we simply do not know.
Its times like these that I like to remember Thomas Merton's famous prayer:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
When we don't see the road ahead, we have to trust that God honors our efforts to try our best to follow Him. We trust that the desire to please God does in fact please Him.
We must trust that our best sincere efforts are good enough.
Like a father watching his child learn to walk, God is pleased to see us take clumsy steps forward.
In all things, His grace is more than enough to carry us forward, even when our best doesn’t seem like it’s enough.
That doesn’t mean that we brazenly blaze through life doing our own thing and expect Jesus to bless our agenda. Rather, it means that even if we have done our due diligence to pray and discern, the road ahead may still be unclear.
Even in the clearest and brightest seasons, we can seldom do more than plant seeds. He, being God, is the one who supplies a bountiful harvest.
Even in the best of times, we supply the effort and we must trust God to bring about the outcome.
It's His grace, more than anything, that moves us forward. His grace is more than enough to bring the bounty.
I don’t know what kind of harvest you are expecting this year. But I am trusting God for an abundant 2020.
Foggy or clear, I certainly hope that the road ahead leads you toward a good year as well.
Together, let's press in and see what God has in store for us this year. No resolutions, just a stubborn commitment to give God our best efforts and see what He has planned.
His plans always end up being way better than our plans anyway.