“The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)
Well, we’re into March. How are those new year’s resolutions working for you?
I pulled up on the Internet a list of America’s top 10 new year’s resolutions. Spending more time with family and friends was first on the list. Four of the next five had to do with weight, health, and fitness perhaps not surprisingly. Did you know, there are more ads for dieting in January than in the rest of the year combined?
For myself, I usually select one or two resolutions to guide my entry into the coming year. Each year, they are different. I don’t know if that suggests improvement, or forgetfulness. Whichever, I am grateful for the opportunity of personal growth.
This year, my first resolution came from the Bible text at the beginning of this column. I have resolved to be content.
This is not a passive resolution for me. I have always leaned into the future, striving to attain new goals and face new challenges with quickness and intensity. A trusted friend tells me that I am a spiritual adventurer and she is right.
So, this is the spiritual discipline of seeking satisfaction in the life God has given, the achievements for the day, and the blessings I receive. As the proverb tells us, this is an exercise of trust (fear) in God.
I have no illusions about this resolution. I know it won’t remove from me the passionate love I have for the church and others. I do believe, however, that I might see more of the goodness of other people, and give thanks for what God is doing.
I know it will not eliminate my hopes and concerns for those I love. I only hope it will enable me to see them more completely in that love.
Each day brings with it challenges and opportunities galore. I will choose, however, to trust the Lord to give enough energy, intelligence, and confidence in myself and others to meet those that are important and to let go of my anxieties about the rest of them.
Simply said: I have a new ambition to practice serenity.
At the end of each day, I want to look back on it and ask myself if I can rest in the confidence that God has been at work, that I have done my best, and that I have tended to the relationships that matter. Like I said, it is not easy.
May our God bless you this year with the surprise of contentment.