When What You're Doing Isn't Working
It's the start of a new year, and for many of us, this means New Year's resolutions, perhaps an early Spring cleaning of our houses, picking up a new hobby, or any number of new things that we use the beginning of a new year as a catalyst to change.
I've decided to go on a diet for the new year, but I'm going to wait to start it because there are still football games to be watched, which require beer and comfort food to be enjoyed. Also, I've got a few other things happening, such as events, trips, and such, so it's looking like mid to late January before I can officially begin.
I forgot about the Super Bowl. There's the Super Bowl in early February, and then there's the Men's Ski Trip with church friends, and then my eldest son's birthday, and now we're into the middle of February.
As I write this, I realize that I'm sharing the twisted kind of rationale that keeps me from doing the things I need to do to lose weight, get into better shape and reduce my stress level, among other things.
I also know that I'm not alone in this. There are a bunch of us out there doing the same thing. We don't trust our willpower; we want to control all of the outcomes; we are caught "betwixt and between" our desire to be better people and the reality of our circumstances that seem to thwart those desires.
We don't often realize that even though what we have been doing probably isn't working all that well for us, it's up to us to stop making excuses, let go of our old ways, and do something different.
Singer/songwriter Nicole Serrano puts it like this:
The way that winter yields itself to springAnd all of the colors know when to start turningLife is better when you let it beSo when all the old things quit workingKnow that it’s okayYeah, it's okay to change.
In my sermon yesterday, I explored the concept of the Divine rhythm that exists in all Creation and in us. This rhythm is "dying and rising," and it is natural and beautiful.
For us, this might look like letting go of the old things that don't serve us any longer and moving toward something new. It might look like grieving and moving on over what has been lost.
It might look like surrender when everything inside us screams to hang on too tightly.
As you step into this new year, may you discover the strength and courage to acknowledge what isn't working for you any longer and then let it go. May you find new life in this choice. May you discover new ways to be the person God dreams for you to become.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.