January has come and gone and with it, for many of us, our New Year’s resolutions and promises as well. We resolve to ‘get healthy’, to ‘think more positively’, to ‘do less’ and more. (yes, that less-more is intentional) The unfortunate thing is, that one of the main reasons people don’t follow through with resolutions and promises is that we are too impatient. It simply takes too long to see the results of our changed behavior.
In our fast paced society, instant gratification rules over perseverance. There are pills and potions, creams and jells, tricks and technology all to make our wildest dreams come true and come fast. These may work for a time but they do nothing to help us make real changes in our daily lives. The quick fix tends to be disconnected from the real heart of the problem/issue, masking the symptom without really fixing anything.
The reality of it is, there are no magic tricks or ointments, no finger-snapping voilas that will bring about the changes you hope to see. Change comes only through the hard work of change. Two of my favorite sayings about change are: “Why are you surprised when you get the same outcome from the same input?” (anon.) and “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Ghandi) Being that change or making that change is hard work, as you well know.
Real change takes real time and real perseverance and real Power – God’s Power. Jesus knew that. What if Jesus had decided it was going to take too long to teach everyone that God was truly a loving and forgiving God? What if He just stopped teaching the second time He crossed the Sea of Galilee? Jesus taught and lived the change He wanted to see in the world: lesson by lesson; walk by walk; meal by meal; prayer by prayer.
This is Jesus’ prayer for us. Begin to live into the change you want to see in your life. The steps can be very small, almost insignificant. Keep at it and pray for God to be present with you. And if you forget or stop or fall back, Pray and Breath and start again. Be open to the Spirit’s Calling.
So no new resolutions, just living into a New-Changed life inspired by Jesus’ Life. You may never know how your living into a New-Changed life will profoundly affect another. That shouldn’t matter. Jesus lived and died in hope for you.
Grace and Peace,