According to recent polls and research, today, January 17th, is the day that most of us who made New Year resolutions to better ourselves, give up on them. Not even three weeks into the year, our haughty aspirations to become the next Mr. Universe or Bill Gates have become a distant memory. After all, it’s hardly fair; for most people January is one of the coldest months of the year and going outdoors or to the gym is much less favorable than just curling up in a blanket with hot cocoa a good movie than working up a sweat in the dead of Winter. And then there is the national fitness conspiracy that is the Girl Scout Cookie campaign, which begins the second week of January and runs until virtually all resolve to improve our individual diets has been all but obliterated. Add to that the football parties ranging from the college Bowl Games to the NFL playoffs and eventual Super Bowl-good hosts can’t serve lettuce wraps with tonic water for rowdy sports fans-it’s wings, nachos, pizza, soda, craft beers-impossible! Perhaps we should defer our New Year resolutions to July!
It can be easy to make up excuses to give up on resolutions, on dreams, on vows. Life gets hard, throws us an unexpected curve, knocks us off our feet and robs us of any remaining intestinal fortitude. For many it becomes easier to just stay down than to get back up and risk being knocked down again. We convince ourselves we aren’t good enough anyway, or we aren’t really deserving of that which we are striving for. We listen to the voices of fear and doubt and fall for lies without much of a challenge. It’s hard to swim against the current or to run in the face of oncoming wind. I know and can speak of this from experience.
Scripture is full of stories about men who faced incredible challenges and odds but persevered and achieved what they were after. David was anointed to be King of Israel but spent most of the next decade in the wilderness running for his life before eventually taking the thrown promised to him. Sarah was in her nineties before God finally granted her request for a child! Jacob fell in love with Rachel and worked seven years for her father in order to be given her as his bride, only to be tricked into marrying her sister, so he had to work another seven years, a total of fourteen, just to be with the woman of his dreams. These saints of old had a vision and a promise and never gave up, even though it appeared from all human perspective that these dreams may not be realized.
Life truly is short. If you wish upon a dream, to borrow a lyric, and do all you can to keep that dream alive, ESPECIALLY if that dream is from God, giving up is not an option. Maybe your dream is to be the lead singer of a band or perhaps a best-selling author; maybe you just want to earn a degree or switch to some exciting career like law enforcement or maybe flight attendant. Maybe you would be content to simply lose ten pounds before Summer so you aren’t embarrassed to be seen at the pool or beach, like me. Perhaps you are seeking that special someone to be your person this year. Whatever it is, you are never too old and it’s never too late to be a dream chaser. The person who fails to dream about what might be, or to continually take measures to make it happen-that person will lose sight of the potential reward, and once the vision is gone, so is the hope and determination.
Ask God to help you define your vision in light of what he wants for you, and to give you all the necessary tools to stick to it and see it to fruition. You can never be sorry you did, only regretful that you gave up too soon! Blessings to you.