I’ve had several years to solidify my New Year’s resolution habits, so I’m pretty sure where I’ll be on January 1st. Of course, there’s the typical weight loss one, and I expect to forget about that somewhere around the second week of January. Actually, I stopped making that one official a long time ago. I was just setting myself up for disappointment. It’s just penciled in.
My unique contribution to the world of New Years’ Resolutions is my “low risk” resolution. Every year, I’ll resolve to make some change in my life that is practical yet infinitesimally small, so I’m guaranteed to accomplish it Therefore, when I check it off my list, I get to feel all proud and happy that I’ve fulfilled my resolution for the year. I also don’t risk too much disappointment for failure.
One year, I resolved to organize my sock drawer. On Janurary 1st, I completed my resolution in under 15 minutes, and I happily went on to look forward to next year’s pathetic accomplishment.
Other years, I tackled “learn to bake a pie” and “learn German.” Now, learning German might sound complicated, but I chose to interpret it as “any amount of the German language.” I settled on “ein Flugzeug,” which is very helpful in airports.
This year, I’m thinking about resolving to memorize more scripture. But, of course, I won’t say it that way. I’ll probably commit to memorizing one verse of scripture, and on January 1st, I’ll turn to “Jesus wept” (John 11:35), memorize it, and feel satisfied with my accomplishment.
By now, you’re probably realizing there’s something terribly wrong with me. I think I’m finally coming to terms with it too.
You know who I remind myself of? I’m just like the foolish servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In the parable, a man entrusts money to three servants, and two of them invest it wisely while he is away, while one of them digs a hole in the ground and hides it because he is afraid of the master (25:25). The master rewards the servants who invests and earns returns, but the servant who does nothing gets punished.
Like the foolish servant, God has entrusted me talents, abilities, and resources that I’m unwilling to risk for his glory. I’m too worried about disappointing him or feeling like a failure.
Maybe this year, I should resolve to take more risks. Of course, I’m not talking about foolish ones, like dumping all my money into one stock or devoting my life to becoming a tap dancer. Then again, plenty of people in the bible have taken “foolish” risks in the eyes of this world for the sake of the next one.
So, here’s my official New Year’s resolution: In 2008, I will take more risks for God’s glory.
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