Where did 2017 go?
Wasn’t it yesterday I was recuperating from Christmas 2016? And thinking about what I wanted 2017 to be like? Anticipating my goals and dreams for the new year?
2017 is just about over, and I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to do. Several dreams are still in that “wishful” category or the “not yet, maybe never” category. Several more morphed into realities that didn’t look like I thought they would.
Was 2017 a failure? No. It was an adventure. I didn’t use my time as wisely as I’d have liked. Some things happened that were hard, experiences I didn’t want to have to deal with. Choices that were taken from me and forced me to face pain. Not anything I’d planned on January 1.
I realize my dreams and goals weren’t really about accomplishments or measurable deeds.
They’re about people. The people that impacted my life; those whose lives I’ve impacted. Whatever our circumstances, people add depth, color and meaning. Our interactions with others describe more accurately who we are than any accomplishment we might add to our resume. Those other goals? They’re something we work toward while we’re in relationship with others.
A recent article in the Washington Post talked about the number one new year’s resolution being less about losing weight,
better jobs, or increased personal opportunities and more about being better people. The focus is more on being the kind of people for others that we want to have around us.
Is that surprising? In a culture and a time where everyone acts like they’re out for themselves, many are becoming honest with what they really want. With what they need. Kindness and grace. Being known and forgiven. Having others think the best of them. Having people care, not because a service has been done or a favor has been fulfilled but because individually people have value.
We’re not just what we do. We’re what we are. Our character, our passions, our ability to interact with those around us.
We all have a sense of right and wrong, but our individual moral compasses are set more by our stories, how we’ve been treated and what we’ve been taught is valuable.
We’re all made in God’s image. That gives us a compelling sameness that can draw all of us together. We’ve been given the ability to think, to care, to choose who and what we’ll be. In love, God offered us gifts of intellect, emotion and will to allow us to have the freedom to enter into relationship with Him freely. To enjoy Him and who He’s made us to be.
It’s not hard to see that we have issues. With family, friends, neighbors, those in authority, those different from us. We want what makes us comfortable and works according to our agenda.
So when our desire to become a better person runs into someone else’s desire to be selfish and self-centered, does anyone win?
We do if we trust Jesus. If we allow Him to give us the ability and capacity to love others even if we’re not loved in return.
That’s not a resolution.
That’s an eternal commitment.