The Best of Intentions for the New Year

It’s that time of the year again when many of us take time out to do a review on the year behind, and with the best of intentions, draft our resolutions for the year to come. If you’re like me, as the end of December approaches I reflectively pause on the year past to count the blessings that God has bestowed upon my life. And in anticipation of the year to come I make a new list of resolutions as well as prayer requests with the purpose of making some kind of progress beyond the current circumstance — to grow, dream, and achieve.

While statistics reveal that not very many people stick to their new year’s resolutions, I believe that the act of drafting and writing them down is a worthwhile endeavour. Setting a goal creates a mindset from the comfort of the familiar to the challenge of new growth. In a way, it’s creating our own accountability plan for living our best year yet, and at least for myself, it’s also renewing my commitment to the Lord knowing that He’s in full control of my life.

May be your intention is to devote more of your time in service to the Lord through your local church or get involved in a charitable work, or to become more loving towards others, or may find love if you’re single and hoping to be married someday. Perhaps you intend to travel somewhere, start doing pilates or yoga to lose weight and become more healthy, or perhaps do something big like write a book or anything that you’ve been wanting to do for years but just didn’t have the time or resources to do it.

But sometimes even with the best intentions to accomplish those goals, due to unforeseen circumstances, they can fall by the wayside. Sometimes our priorities change giving way to a new path. Or perhaps there is some ‘weed-pulling’ or ‘soil-tilling’ before our garden is ready for new plantings. Sometimes our resolutions are tied to people like our family or employer, and sometimes to unexpected events outside of our control. And what starts off as the best of resolutions can sometimes give way to discouragement and ultimately lead us to discontentment. Isn’t that what usually happens when things don’t go our way? It’s important however, to evaluate the underlying reasons behind our new year’s resolutions. It certainly will enable us to have a larger vision for our lives. And when things go wrong even after we’ve done our best, we have to realise that God is the One who is in control of all things. That everything happens for a reason and we can only trust God for what He is doing in our lives.

Part of my own plan for the new year includes being more deliberate with my writing, from random reflection to a more mindful way of sharing my deepest thoughts and emotions. I also desire to be closer to the Lord; learning from His Word on a daily basis and sharing the wisdom that He imparts on me. It also includes prioritising any immediate needs; saying ‘no’ to some indulgences, so that I can say ‘yes’ to those people or undertaking that matter most. With that in mind, I am allowing myself to be more fully engage in life itself and all that God has in store for me in 2016. As we welcome the new year, let me share with you one of my favourite verses:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27 

I wish you all a blessed new year, one filled with opportunities for learning and growth, and an abundance of love, joy and peace from the Lord.