Forget The New "Year!"
There's something that gets into our heads about beginning a new year with an activity or discipline that will improve our present condition. I don't know what it is, because the same thinking can be applied to a new month, or a new week, day, hour, or minute. I can certainly start exercising tomorrow, or in the next hour or so, rather than wait to start a personal program January 1. Perhaps there's more significance in at least thinking that I'm going to do something worthwhile for an entire year. My own New Year's resolutions rarely make it through the winter thaw, yet I persevere in these attempts because a few have actually become wonderful disciplines in my life.
After years of hopeful attempts, which soon dissipated or got displaced by "more pressing activities," prayer (especially for family members) and reading God's Word are now a very consistent part of my life. What was the "secret to my success"? Very simply, by God's grace and encouragement, I kept after it, oftentimes like a beaten-down boxer who keeps getting up off the canvas to have another go at his opponent (in my case, my undisciplined self). When the year's goal failed, I shifted to the month's goal, then to the week's goal, and from time-to-time I applied myself one day at a time. One of my favorite things about being a Christian is that I can repent in a moment and instantly start afresh with the Lord. While my somewhat sporadic efforts may spoil my year's end achievement record, I'll settle for the grace to persevere after missing the mark of my own making.
Thank you for your prayers for Dave Hunt, who is recovering from spine surgery, and for Barbara Romine, TBC's managing editor, who is recovering from a mastectomy; those prayers have been graciously answered by the Lord. Dave was able to return to physical therapy recently and Barbara is back at work, thankful and thrilled that her doctor won't need to see her for six months.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians:4:16-17: "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
T. A. McMahon