James H. Cagle
The Bible says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:13, 14).
We often attempt to accomplish something in only a halfhearted or haphazard way, without the focus, sincerity and seriousness necessary for reaching our goal. We make repeated attempts for reaching the goal but because our will power or resolve are weak, victory is never won.
We know our dreams and God given potential will never be realized if we remain slaves to our many bad habits, or bad attitude and mind sets, and life style. But we refuse to discipline ourselves and stretch ourselves and rise out of the pit of bondage into the glorious light of freedom.
To aid us in our fight for freedom and deliverance we have this thing we call resolve that we muster up to stand with us at the threshold of the new year and its possibilities and that we hope will be strong until the promises we’ve made ourselves are fulfilled. But so often the resolve we supposedly possess and exemplify can hardly be called resolve because there is no correlation between that so-called resolve we show and the dictionary’s definition. To define resolve the dictionary uses words and phrases like, “having the mind made up”; “fixedness of purpose”; “boldly determined”; and “unshaken firmness.” That hardly describes most who say they’ve made some new years resolution.
We wait until the new year to set our resolve and make our resolutions because we have a new year without any mistakes or failures in it, lying fresh before us and we want to begin it with change. Besides, who ever heard of a midyear resolution?
And then there are those who never make new year resolutions because they remain resolute, committed, focused, and disciplined every day all year long. Their hand is steady on the helm and their sails are full as they steadily cut across the sea of time. If by some reason they get off the course they don’t wait until the new year rolls around to adjust but each day make whatever adjustments are necessary to stay on course.
We would actually be doing ourselves a favor if we first counted the cost for accomplishing anything that we set out to do, including some new years resolution. And then ask ourselves if we’re willing to pay the price in order to realize our goal?
If we know we won’t pay the price for success why kid ourselves and set out on what will surely end in failure?
So what is a resolution? It’s forgetting past failures and with our mind made up with fixedness of purpose, and bold determination, and unshaken firmness, and willingness to pay the price for success, commit ourselves to doing something we alone can do and seeing it through to the end.
Resolutions are kept, dreams and goals realized by those who are willing to sacrifice whatever they must to win the prize. Any resolutions that do not call in the use of the deeper elements of our being and their development are resolutions that aren’t worth making. The resolutions we make should stretch us, and change us, and help change our world.
“All great accomplishments are built upon the foundation of sacrifice.” – Anon.
I Am Resolved
The birthing of an unblemished year;
Unfurrowed by heartache and sorrow,
Undiminished by a single bitter tear.
A priceless gift I’ll use a little of each day;
Through which I will sow the seeds that I choose,
In my words and actions along the way.
And a nonreturnable moment is spent,
I firmly close the door to my past,
To grasp tomorrow with strong pure intent.
For its record is sealed and cannot be changed.
I must not look back and dwell on the past;
If this years to be different and bring in change.
The much needed seeds of hope and cheer.
And should some shadow fall across my path,
I’ll continue my quest through pain or tears.
That, regardless of what each day may send,
I’ll seek after knowledge, wisdom and grace
That the blessings of God I may apprehend.
And each opportunity it gave me is gone,
All my words and deeds that have been recorded,
Will cause me to rejoice when this account I must own?
And very soon I will see it spent and gone,
So I must therefore be busy about my task,
Amidst so many others, on a path that I walk alone.
It’s fresh and unstained by rebellion or sin.
I’ll take my Friend’s hand, that’s outstretched to me,
On this new journey that, today, I begin.