Author: Kate Franken
As a new year approaches, dreams and ideals inundate my thoughts. I can easily get wrapped up in the New Year’s resolution mindset, hoping to make lasting changes. I know what the naysayers say. I’ve, at times, been one myself. Experience has taught me that adherence to resolutions is typically short-lived, but I want to be an optimist and see desire win. I don’t want to let the stories written in the past deter me. I let the visions of who I will be in the new year ruminate, and I contemplate the paths I must journey to bring visions to fruition. When all at once, it registers that I’ve missed a step in all the plotting and planning. The merit of my resolutions needs to be evaluated.
Memories from a month ago, of a conversation with dear friends concerned about my tendency to overwork, came flooding back. They spoke truth and love, as community should. Our conversation left me pondering for weeks to come, “For whom, is this all for? What is my motivation?” These questions are now a guide when determining which resolutions to discard or keep.
If I’m honest, the changes I largely covet are about me. They are driven by the cravings for perfection and happiness. Pride doesn’t need more fuel, so I quickly quelch that fire, not giving those selfish resolutions a second thought. If a resolution is propelled for the purpose of serving God, I am determined to chase hard after it.
We should pray heartily for Jesus to bring about the change in us. We let His words influence our steps. We rest in knowing there is grace, because we will fall. Falling is not failure. Failure comes when we don’t see our need for God, when we don’t extend our hand to Him so that He can carry us forward. Humility will be required, for pride will obstruct locked hands. Vain endeavors block the source of true strength and we will find holy power to be cut off.
It is my prayer that we walk forward into 2018, viewing tomorrow with an eternal lense. Living not for today, but for eternity.
“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” -Colossians 3:2
“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:18
May our intentions be sound and reflect a heart that seeks and loves the King of Kings. May His Kingdom be advanced as we increase in submission and service. May all our longings for happiness be found in relationship with Him, as He guides us into this new year.
Readers, What are your dreams for the new year? How can you use those to glorify and draw closer to God?
Kate Franken is a 4th grade teacher and a volunteer coordinator at her church in Oregon. She enjoys indulging in raw conversation whilst savoring a cup or more of coffee. Her hunt for good books and podcasts is endless. She finds refuge surrounded by trees, on hiking trails, with her two dogs in tow. She is especially fond of mountaintop views, wit, “best teacher ever” love letters, breakfast, a painted sky, and Jesus. She has a heart for connecting people to His church and encouraging others into relationship with Him.