It’s Never Too Late for Sparkling New Year’s Resolutions
Statistics show that by the third week in January most people have lost interest, or otherwise given up, on their resolutions. Why is that? Do we lack the commitment which requires us to do what we said we’d do, long after the mood we were in when we said it, has passed? Do we expect immediate results? For someone like me, when I don’t achieve it quickly, I have a tendency to move on to something else.
This late January blog on resolutions has been simmering for weeks. I’m excited to finally share two epiphanies that have made me think differently about resolutions. The first is a book called “It’s Never Too Late”, a kid’s book for adults, written by Dallas Clayton, who has been called the new “Dr. Seuss”. The second is a video that a high school classmate posted on Facebook. This video impacted all of my senses: I watched, I listened, I heard, and while I didn’t actually taste and feel as we think about those senses, the feelings in my heart and soul shifted and the taste of joy was sweet.
In Mr. Clayton’s book, he reminds us to live each day, not just to the fullest, but cherishing the things that are important to us. He asks us hard questions, “If today was the day that it all came crashing,…and the world ended…how would you feel?…who would you want to hold your hand?…what would you do with those final hours?”
Then he asks, “And what if today just kept on going, and day after day there was no way of knowing when it would end or how it would be?”
I read the book over and over, pondering: would I call a friend; would I do what I have been longing to do? The seconds, the minutes, the hours, the days, the years…are all passing quickly and life happens right now! The book brought home to me, “…things will keep coming…but in those last moments…it’s the love you’ll remember, that you gave and you got…”
The second was discovering a music video posted by Steve on Facebook. Steve and I went to high school together, some 40 years ago. I haven’t seen him, spoken to him, or even heard about him since the night we graduated. We weren’t close friends then, we were just classmates. I clicked on the link, curious to see who the mysterious teen age boy, who had walked the halls of our small rural high school with a swagger, had worn tight jeans, drove fast cars, and seemed to have all the confidence in the world, had become. With that single click…well check it out for yourself. Click on the following:
Now click one more time and watch it again, but before you do, consider these words of the song, beginning with the chorus describing the guiding force on his life:
“I am redeemed, bought with a price,
Jesus has changed my whole life.
If anybody asks you, just who I am,
tell them I am redeemed.”
His song ended with this last verse, which told me who he is:
“If you run across anybody that used to know me,
tell them I’m doing fine.
The last time that you saw me,
I was lifting up holy hands,
I’ll tell them I’ve been redeemed”
It was clear to me, hearing these words delivered as only the security of His grace can explain, and watching the man that had replaced that young boy, I realized that Steve was living each moment of his life demonstrating and sharing his joy and gratitude.
The words of Mr. Clayton’s book, and the words of Steve’s song, serve to remind me that the resolve to do certain things and to live life in a certain way begins with this moment, continuing with the next moment and the next moment and the moment that follows that. It is not a list of good intentions, forgotten weeks after writing them down. It is, simply, a “way of being”.
May your life sparkle this moment, this day and all the days to be.
Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (NIV)
Credits: “I’m Redeemed” (words by Jessy Dixon) performed at Hill Crest Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama (video is filmed by Douglas Wood).