It’s been years since I’ve made a New Years’ Resolution.
Until four or five years ago I made plans instead: detailed Goals and Objectives complete with what it would take each day or week for those plans to be realized. I was what some would call “driven” (in a good sense) and I did get a lot done, can’t deny it.
But good things can become weaknesses or liabilities when taken to the extreme, and that became true of me as well. My goals and plans crowded out the room I needed in my life for God to do something I didn’t expect – or didn’t do something I had planned. I had everything figured out, so when He surprised me with something I ended up questioning His judgement. (Never a good idea to quetion or doubt that way.)
This New Year there is a truckload of things outside my control.
It’s impossible to set goals, checkpoints and ways to measure your progress when you don’t know where you’ll be living, where you’ll be working, when you’ll start, how much you’ll earn, what venue you’ll be working hard in. The unknowns outweigh the knowns. It’s almost a shut-out! But . . .
It’s still true that what we do grows out of who we are.
So on this first day of 2009 I’ve chosen the beginnings of three Psalms to think on. They describe the man I want to be in 2009, no matter what happens or where Brenda and I end up.
Aspirations (kinda has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?)
I paged through the underlined passages in my Bible a while and settled on three three passages to use as my starting point. I’m going to think and reflect on these the first week of the year and lock down the characteristics I want to be 100% true of me, all year long. Then I’ll set some things in place to insure progress toward those ends and call them My 2009 Aspirations.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with scoffers.
 But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants;
day and night they think about his law.
 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves never wither,
and in all they do, they prosper.
Psalm 40:1-5 (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud,
or in those who worship idols.
 O Lord my God, you have done many miracles for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
Psalm 131:1-3 (NLT)
A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.
Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or awesome for me.
 But I have stilled and quieted myself,
just as a small child is quiet with its mother.
Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—
now and always.
Interestingly, they’re all in the Psalms. Since they’re not my words but the words of King David, someone who saw God work in his life through plenty of extenuating circumstances, feel free to use them too – if you like.