“Commit Your Way to the Lord…” Psalm 37:5
New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time! Seriously. I did a little research and discovered that a vast majority of those making resolutions didn’t make it past February. Am told that it takes at least 90 consecutive days to form a new habit in a person’s life (I didn’t verify that, but for sake of argument follow my reasoning). So if that average person makes a commitment for life-change that ends in February, they have a mere 59 days under their belt…a little over half-way. See what I’m saying…resolutions are a waste of time!
I understand historically that those living in the old Roman Empire practiced some form of resolution making. They are the ones responsible for naming January in the first place. A cursory scan of the internet will inform you that January comes from the Roman god Janus who apparently had two faces—one looking forward into the future and the other looking back into the past. Sounds creepy to me. I wonder how well that deity assisted them in keeping their resolutions. My guess? Probably in the neighborhood of those living in the 21st century…less than 10%.
I’m going to venture a theological guess in why we as human beings have such a high failure rate in keeping those first-of-the-year amendments to life—it’s nearly always based on one’s ability to do it themselves. Another way of saying it—we try to accomplish the feat on our own. My studies and experience have taught me that when something valuable is dependent upon my own human ingenuity and effort to pull off it isn’t long before failure sets in. Sure, I can sustain it for a while, but for the long-term the success rate is not all that great.
Enter scripture. I love a particular Psalm of David that is more in line with God’s way of making life changes. Psalm 37 tells us the narrow but clear path to starting the New Year off right and sustaining necessary changes that we believe need to be made in order to continue our growth to maturity. Here are the steps David suggests:
- Trust in the Lord—put the full weight of your confidence, not in your own abilities, but in the character and strength of the Creator. He is able to inform us in a way that nothing or no one else can.
- Feed on His faithfulness—a rendering of the phrase “cultivate faithfulness.” It is not our faithfulness that Dave suggests we depend upon, but rather the faithfulness of God. When we rely on the unchanging God to be our guide, the success rate is way beyond February.
- Commit your way to the Lord—now David calls the reader to action. To commit our way to Him means that we entrust each aspect of our lives into his care. It means that we dedicate ourselves to living by the standards and instructions that God has set forth for holiness and righteousness in the journey. As God told Joshua, then you will be prosperous and successful.
- Rest in the Lord—literally, be still! Cease striving. There is a better than average chance that you will not have the entire course of your year revealed all at once. Many twists and turns, unexpected side roads, a few detours, a bridge or two washed out, await your journey. It is of no use getting all “twitter-pated” about it, but simply to rest in Him.
- Wait patiently for Him—ever find that you run ahead of God and expect Him to keep up with you? Lol…I do at time to be sure. David’s admonition is to reverse that trend. Let God do the leading and you spend time walking his pace.
Well, it’s not rocket science. But it will take some determination and effort on your part to succeed in the journey. But His way seems far more reliable than mine…and worth a try!
Blessings on the journey,