Up and Doing

So, have you made any resolutions for the New Year? I have. This year I’ll be giving extra effort to rebuilding broken relationships in my life. I want to do what I can to fix the fractures.

We’ll see how it goes. Only God knows what’ll happen in such circumstances. I just know I want to try to give it more attention, maybe be more deliberate in reaching out.

Making New Year’s resolutions gets a bad rap. It was F.M. Knowles who said, “He who breaks a resolution is a weakling. He who makes one is a fool.” I disagree. I don’t think it’s foolish. In fact, if you don’t already make resolutions, I’d encourage you to give it a try. You’d be amazed at how making resolutions helps to give focus in other parts of life. It helps to identify a destination of betterment and then to aim for it, even if only to get closer. That’s not a bad thing. From a biblical perspective, it can be considered “training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). In that sense, I suppose rather than being a fan of Knowles, I’m more of a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow kind of guy. Observing life, and in one sense, simply desiring to go about living in a way that tries to move goodness forward, Longfellow said, “Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.”

I like that.

From the vantage point of Christianity, to be up and doing with a heart for any fate—learning to labor and to wait—certainly has resonating potential. We’re active in the world around us. We’re up and doing in ways that reveal a pursuing of faithfulness to Christ. With that, we learn to labor at certain times and we learn to wait during others. This is trust. And in the end, come what may—any fate, any and all results—we’re already comfortable with the fact that these are God’s to determine. We hold to the simple conviction that He will work for the good of those who love Him, and He will use our efforts (which are empowered by the Holy Spirit), even what we believe to be our extreme inabilities, to be a light to others to see His glory.

I like that, too.

And so I’ve made some resolutions. I told you one. I have another one, but I’ll keep that one to myself. Either way, with both I want to be up and doing to accomplish something beyond myself for others, and as I do this, my prayer is that I’ll be ready for any fate in each and every situation. I trust that God will handle the results. I just want to be faithful.

If you decide to do the same in the New Year, I pray that the Lord will bless you in your efforts. Know that I’ll be rooting for you. And know that if you don’t fully accomplish whatever it is you’re setting out to accomplish—at least not as you might interpret the word “accomplish”—by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you for eyes set on Christ and a heart seeking faithfulness to Him, rest assured that God will use you to move His love a little further along in a world in such desperate need of receiving it. I guarantee this will happen even if you never see it.

With that, blessings to you in Christ, and have a wonderful New Year!