It’s that time where everyone will be trying to make (or keep) resolutions. Resolutions are outward responses to something inside that prompts us to make changes in our lives. Like a yearly reminder of our mortality, there is something about a new year that causes us to re-evaluate and re-create ourselves once again. But as the new year begins, it may be appropriate to ask: to whom or what are we responding?
A man named Fulton Oursler once told the story of a small town in Cape Cod. Every morning the telephone operator would receive a call asking for the correct time. This went on for several days until the telephone operator could stand it no longer. The next day she finally had to ask the caller: “Would you mind telling me why you call at this time every day and ask for the correct time?” “Sure, I’ll tell you,” he said. “I want to get the exact time because I’m the man who blows the whistle at twelve o’clock.” “Well that’s really funny”, replied the operator, “because every day at the stroke of noon I set our clock by your whistle!”
Like the operator’s time, it’s easy for our goals and standards (and resolutions) to be based on what everyone else is saying. It’s easy to follow the latest trend, agree with the people at the office, or be influenced by the media or the latest poll results. Don’t misunderstand, sometimes resolutions become an important way for us to make very significant, positive, and long lasting changes in our lives. Such changes can allow us to be stronger, healthier, and feel better about ourselves.
But understanding God’s movement in the process is often the most difficult part. Not because we don’t want to understand, but because many times we don’t take the time to discern God’s voice in the middle of our daily routine. We find it so difficult to pray, to meditate, or to listen to the ways God may be speaking to us.
On Sundays during January, we have a sermon series we’re calling “New Year, New You.” We’ll see through story, scripture, and example that we are always in the process of “becoming”, and that part of our growth comes through a desire to seek God’s direction in all of life’s decisions. I pray that (for us – both individually and as a church family), 2018 will be the year where “seeking God’s guidance” is everyone’s resolution.