I have a standing resolution to read at least a chapter of the Bible every day. I realize that that isn't a hard one, and I highly recommend reading more than that, but it would be a lie to say that I've ever kept it the whole year through. As much as I would like to, with my job schedule I can't 'plan' on any certain 'quiet time'. It all depends on who I am working for, and what schedule I am on, but there is no way I can predict (On the days I work, or have 24 hr shifts) what my clients are going to need, nor when they will wake up or go to bed, or what they will be doing throughout the day. So, as of yet as much as I hate to say so, I have never gotten through the whole year yet. Maybe this year!! I do think it is good to have that as a standing resolution though :-) And of course, read more than that on days it is possible to do so.
With that said, I have decided that my 'other' resolution wasn't going to have to do with being or making myself more spiritual--and here's why.
So many of us decide we want to 'do something for the Lord' and make our own plans to become what we think we should be for Him. Not that that is wrong in itself. It is good to have personal goals, and give ourselves to the Lord. But, what if what we needed at the beginning of the year isn't what we need nine months later? So well do I remember the time I decided to spend a certain amount of time with the Lord alone every day, either reading my Bible or in prayer. It was good for me, and I learned so much the first couple weeks when I had my ultra concentration on learning. However, as the year went on there were days that were just so busy. I would read a chapter, look at the clock and realize that it had only been two minutes, read another two and a half minutes...and so on. Or there were the instances when I would be reading with my eyes, but my brain was completely in a different place, or praying, but realize I was saying the same things over and over, but with no real sincerity in it.
The breaking point came to me when one day my sister walked into the room during my 'quiet time' and asked me something. I told her quite firmly that this was my 'quiet time' and under no circumstances was I to be bugged during that time. A few minutes later my sister came in (I can't remember if it was the same one or not) and tried talking to me. Anger started to boil down inside me. Couldn't they see that I'm spending time with my Lord?!?! Don't they realize how hard it is to try to get some alone time in a house where 6 girls shared the same bedroom? I blew up, telling her how un-christian it was to even think about bugging me. I gave myself to God, and was going to give Him my time no matter how I had to do it!
As the days and weeks went on my sisters learned to
One day I realized that my 'time with the Lord' wasn't doing me any good! Yes, there were days when the Lord showed me something, and I learned a lot. But there were also many days when I just skimmed over as fast as I could, and prayed for the same person over and over...and the part that tore at my heart was that my dear siblings couldn't come to me at just any time during the day and 'talk' between work, regular housework, family time, ect. The only alone time they could've possibly gotten in with me was the 'not allowed to talk' time. I wasn't as close to them, and I had a feeling that they had a fear of my blow-ups that occasionally came up. I can't explain it, but it still tears my heart up when I think about how I tried to shun all others because I wanted to become a better Christian, and I wanted to keep my resolution. Thankfully I think the Lord showed me that it wasn't the time I spent with Him, but the application and the heart. I wonder if I had kept going down the same path if I would have become a self-righteous-or possibly an I'm-a-martyr-type Christian.
I'm not saying that for others to have the same resolutions would end up the same way. In reality it wasn't really as 'dramatic' as it appears to be when I'm actually typing it out. But I don't know how else to try to explain ALL of my feelings without it appearing like some huge deal. It was just a twitching of what I feel was Holy Spirit given guilt. I would think it would be great if others had the same resolution, and felt as close to Him as I did when I was doing it. Satan has his way of trying to pry his way into any nook and cranny he can...especially when he thinks there is a possibility of us growing closer the the Lord, and for me that was one of the places he started trying to get into, without making it obvious.
I still try to spend time with the Lord, but I don't have a set time, or way of doing so. Some of my most heartfelt prayers are while I'm cooking at work, and have had some time to think about random things throughout the day or week, and can utter a quick prayer of requests or thanks.
Another reason I don't make a general 'spiritual' resolution is because of the fact that it's so easy for us to mess up. For example, if I would make the resolution to give 100% of myself to the Lord this year, and had a time of messing up I think it would be easier for me give up--thinking that I already broke it.
With all that being said, I do have many GOALS for the year. As you all know, I have a LOT I need to do better on!
So, this year (Other than my chapter a day) I have one of the craziest, stupidest, most ridiculous resolutions possible to have! It should be very easy to accomplish within a short time, but, it is something that will have to be kept up on, so it will still be 'work.' =) (And no, it's NOT to loose weight! :-p)
And I do apologize for the long post...once my scrambled mind gets started thinking on something it generally goes through a looong tube of bumps and turns and sometimes dead ends before actually getting to the end of my ramblings! I would recommend you skip reading this post if it's to terribly long and boring to get through. But, of course...it's to late now, because you read it all. *inserts a mean little laugh here*
Hope you all have a blessed New Year!