What are your New Year resolutions?
At the start of 2013, God has blessed me with new beginnings. I am starting a new job in a new field, and I am expanding my horizons in my strengths and talents. This new job offers half day Fridays and no weekend work, which is a big change from my non-profit Symphony job where I worked most weekends. Ironically, when God gives me an opportunity for rest, I often find ways to fill it up again! I have a tendency to over-commit myself to things when I see my schedule change or open up. So when my colleagues asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were, I thought very hard about what God had been pressing on my soul for several months:
My New Year’s resolution is to have a day of rest every week. This seems obvious, doesn’t it? God commands us to keep the Sabbath holy, yet this commandment always seems to slip my mind. Of course, this commandment is hard to keep if my commitments, however worthy, obstruct God’s insistence on putting my health first. I had to seriously ask myself what my priorities were. When I realized that I was in a position where I could not prioritize God and His promptings, I asked Him to help me make necessary changes. First He made changes in my heart and my self-discipline, then he made some big changes I wasn’t necessarily expecting. But all of these answers have given me a chance to follow the Lord’s leading in my life.
I don’t intend to waste my day of rest by lying around all day and playing on Facebook; instead, I will take it as an opportunity to know God more intimately. I want to make God the center of my life everyday, but I want my day of rest to be a conscious day of learning, prayer, and spiritual rejuvenation. This will ground me in my upcoming week and end my prior week on a spiritual high note.
This is what I expect will naturally occur because of my New Year’s Resolution – my day of rest:
1) Recuperation in God’s presence
2) Mental and physical stress relief
3) Inspiration for my inner creativity and time to carry it out
4) Focused work ethic during the week because I know I’ll get a break
Of course, I have other resolutions that play into this. I would like to pursue my music more seriously and give myself more opportunities for performance. I would also like to travel every few months with my husband to nearby cities. I am hoping to blog more regularly and join a local small group (or start one!) that meets once a week. I am putting a greater focus on my diet and exercise than I have in the past. Some of these goals are compatible with my day of rest, and keeping that as my main resolution will help me to center God in my life and keep myself from over-committing.
Tomorrow’s my first official day of rest for the year, and I have been looking forward to it all week. I worked extra hard this week to ensure that I would not have any work to do tomorrow. My husband and I are attending church with some good friends of ours, and then we are all going straight to the movies to see Les Miserables (again). Then I plan to learn how to cook some healthy quinoa vegetarian dish, drink soothing hot tea, read a chapter of John White’s Daring to Draw Near (thought provoking book on prayer) and clean a bit. After that, I’ll have to go to bed early because my new job STARTS at 7 AM and this girl is not used to seeing the sun rise. 🙂
I hope you also have a restful day sometime this week! If you’re currently unable to commit to one day a week due to your work schedule, do your best to capture a few days or half days a month to give your body and mind some much needed rest.
Whatever your resolutions are this year, I pray you can focus on these areas of your life:
1) Grow in your personal relationship with God, the Church, and your loved ones (Spiritual and Social)
2) Take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, exercising, and controlling your emotions in a healthy manner (Physical and Emotional)
3) Exercise your mind with art, literature, stimulating conversation, and mind games; Know thyself by learning and utilizing your strengths (Intellectual and Occupational)
When you ignore one of these areas, it is very difficult to feel fully operational as a human and certainly as a Christian. You will feel unbalanced if you neglect an important area of your life. Your consistent actions will betray your true priorities. Do you put work over family or God? Do you study or practice long hours yet neglect your body’s strength and health? Do you hide from your God-given strengths because you fear what God may ask you to do with them?
Whether your have specific or vague goals, approach God in prayer and humility and ask Him to bless you. He will open doors for you in ways you never imagined.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.