New Year’s Convictions, Old-Year Obstacles
New Year’s Resolutions. They just don’t work. At least they haven’t for me. But here we are with yet another year behind us so it’s time to relaunch again. For years, I’ve fallen into a pattern in my resolutions: embrace healthy diet/exercise routine, mature in my faith, balance work and family life, de-clutter my home, etc. I’ve re-scribbled these resolutions for as long as I can remember, and each year I’ve had good intentions to follow through.
What went wrong, you ask? I believe the answer can be found in the words of my pastor, Aaron Brockett. In a March 2013 sermon titled Backbone: Under Pressure, he spoke with clarity about “intentions versus convictions,” saying that “under pressure good intentions collapse, but convictions stand.” What I’ve learned through the years is that convictions reveal priorities and carry weight empowered with energy and determination.
So this year I’ve decided to start by identifying my number one conviction, as well as the obstacles to achieving it. My 2016 conviction can be summarized in one word: peace. My obstacles can be summarized in two: relationships and clutter.
I will start with clutter since that’s easier and can be removed — people are much more challenging. This year I will take small steps to remove the stuff that drags me down, the daily minutia that causes distractions and the time-wasting piles that are continually shuffled.
As for relationships, I will start with my most important one — Jesus Christ. I will intentionally make space to grow closer to Him. This will involve a reordering of my jam-packed days, the discipline to not allow busyness to overtake my mind and schedule, and an openness to truly listen and discern His voice over the distracting chatter in our society. Why not call in the source, the Prince of Peace, when seeking peace? I will also focus on other life-giving relationships and minimize time with those that are not. As my mother always says, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” In 2016, I’m done with the turkeys.
So no resolutions this year, just one conviction: seek peace. I have a hunch that this year change will be truly possible — and that I will likely discover that as peace abounds, everything else will fall into place or maybe just lose its importance along the way.
May your intentions become convictions in 2016, your old-year obstacles be conquered, and may peace be with you on your journey ahead.
Happy New Year!