(ok, it was when I started writing this...then time got away from me. That's what happens when you put things off!)
With each new year that comes, people are fond of making 'resolutions'; vowing to themselves that they are going to change in the year ahead. Whether it be behaviours that need tending, habits that need broken, weight that needs to be lost - the list goes on and on - with the new year, for many, comes the desire for a new start, a new lease on life.
Sadly, most of the changes they make are not lasting ones, and by the time January is gone, most New Year's Resolutions have already been broken - thrown, crumpled and unheeded by the wayside.
I've never been much of a resolution-maker. I tend to be fairly pragmatic about things, and to my way of thinking, if something needs changed it needs done now - if I don't have the will-power to make the change sometime in, say, September, then the likelihood of my doing it just because it is the beginning of a new year is no better. Like many people, I have lots of grand ideas for things that 'need' doing - projects that 'need' done, plans that 'need' to be accomplished, and like most, I have less 'git'er done' than 'dream it up'.
Yes, there are things I'd like to see done this year. There are things that should probably be changed. There are things I want...
But what do I need? What does my family need?
We humans tend to put our 'wants' in the need column:
"Oh, I NEED that dress!"
"I absolutely HAVE to have those shoes."
"We NEED a bigger house."
We NEED this...we NEED that...
But do we really NEED it?
I like pretty clothes as much as the next girl - but do I NEED them? The large quantities of clothing, shoes and accessories in my closet and dressers (and everywhere else) tells me I don't. I need clothes to cover my body and to keep me warm, but I have more than I need.
While I'd like a bigger, nicer house, do I need one? I have a roof over my head, my family is warm and dry - what more do I need?
We have food in the refrigerator...and the freezer...and the pantry...we won't go hungry anytime soon - which is more than many people even here in America can say.
So, what do I really need?
What is ONE thing that I can really say, "I NEED that" in 2014?
I NEED Jesus.
Mind if I say it again?
I Need JESUS.
More than anything else in this world, I need Him.
Why do I need Him?
Because in myself I am a sinner and I need a Saviour. I cannot save myself. I cannot make myself 'good enough' to be fit for Heaven - but He can.
Because on my own I am weak and I need His strength.
Because alone I don't know where to go or what to do - I need someone to guide me.
Because when I'm sad, or lonely, or just plain tired of living, tired of fighting...I need a Comfort that I can trust to be there for me no matter what.
Because when I'm facing things that I can't explain to anyone, I need someone who will listen to my heart - and knows what I'm facing without me ever speaking a word. I need an Intercessor to pray for me when I can't pray for myself.
Because, as a parent, I alone am incapable of raising my children to be respectable God-fearing adults -
- I need a Teacher to teach me so that I can teach them.
- I need an Example to follow so that I can be an example for them.
Because on the days that I wonder, "Why am I here? What is the purpose in my life?", HE is the meaning, and knowing Him gives me a purpose for living.
Why do I need Him?
Because without Him I am nothing; I have no reason to live; I haven't the strength to keep plodding on day after day...
But with Him, I have everything.
I can wake up each morning with the realization that no matter how awkward and unlovable I feel, there is Someone who loves me beyond measure; that no matter how many times I fail Him, He will always be there for me.
And believe me, I fail Him often.
But when I do, I can get back up and reach out to Him, and He will always pick me up, brush me off, and set me on my way again.
When I look at my children, I am reminded time and again how much God cares for us. So often, I explain to them just what I expect of them; I tell them plainly to make sure they understand. And yet, five minutes later, I can turn around and find them doing the very thing they were just told not to do. How many times have I said to one of them, "You shouldn't do that, because this and this will happen if you do", only to watch them do it anyway - and get hurt in the the process, just like I said they would. And once again, I pick them up, brush them off, fuss at them, and send them on their way again. No matter how many times they disobey or forget, I still love them, and when they come running to me, I'll hug them and kiss them and tell them everything's gonna be all right.
But, unlike God, I get impatient with my children. I fuss at them when they don't do things right. Some days I yell at them much more than I should...
That's why I need Jesus.
God has never done that with me, but too often I fail to follow His example.
That's why I have GOT to have Jesus.
So, this year, I have no fancy list of resolutions - no pile of projects to accomplish. In fact, I have only one resolution:
I MUST have more of Jesus.
I have one deep supreme desire, that I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire, that I may be like Jesus.
I want my heart His throne to be, so that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me; I want to be like Jesus.
Oh, perfect life of Christ my Lord, I want to be like Jesus.
My recompense and my reward, that I may be like Jesus.
His Spirit fill my hung'ring soul, His power all my life control;
My deepest pray'r, my highest goal, that I may be like Jesus.
(from the song, "I Want to Be Like Jesus", by Thomas Chisolm)