Written by Bethany Glosser
The new year: 2013. A time that begs for fresh starts, different perspectives, and renewed commitments. Resolutions. According to The Daily Times (www.delcotimes.com) the top 10 resolutions this year are as follows:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Reduce stress
- Reduce debt
- Save money
- Learn something new
- Manage time better
- Forget Facebook and get more face time
- Gift your time to a worthy cause or person
About half the population usually make New Year’s resolutions. Of course, statistically only about 8% of them will stick to their resolutions and see them through to completion, and 25% of them will not even succeed in making it through January 8th. *wah-wah*
I say “them” because I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, mainly because my memory lapses far too quickly for me to be able to seriously commit to anything for a full week, let alone 365 days. (I blame those maniacal pregnancy hormones for killing off the majority of my brain cells associated with memory.) This year, however, may be different.
Sure there are things I’d like to start up. Things like journaling every day, being more grateful on a day-to-day basis, and finally trimming my son’s room or installing toe kicks under my kitchen cabinets. But are any of those things “New Year’s Resolution” material? (Keep in mind, the reason I never got a tattoo is that I could never think of anything so meaningful that I’d want it permanently inked on my body forevermore.)
My Meaningful Resolution
There is one thing that I’m really excited about starting up this year. I mean, extremely excited! For Christmas a few weeks ago, my husband got me a book called Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God, by David Platt. Why am I so excited about a book? Let me back up. David Platt first authored another popular book, the New York Times best-seller, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. While I haven’t read his first book, my husband has, and it has dramatically and deeply changed him. The book poses difficult questions to a believer about important heart issues, challenging us to a higher calling than success, achievement, and good standing in the world — the “American Dream”.
That higher calling is complete abandonment — abandoning the things we’d like to do, the things we desire to have, the things we work so hard to attain, even good things… and even the people in our lives we love dearest, all so that we might be utterly abandoned to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And when you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, move you, and change you, you become “radical” for Christ: willing to do whatever whenever wherever so that His name is made known even “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
My husband has certainly been challenged by this calling, and I have loved every minute of discussion we’ve had because of it. After reading Radical, we started talking about what that means specifically for our family. What does complete and utter abandonment to the Gospel look like practically? We have discussed many ideas, and implemented a few. For instance, we have decided to go on our first missions trip to Honduras together this spring. (It is the first trip of the kind for each of us, and not only to we get to do it together, but we’re also taking our baby girl with us!) This commitment in itself is huge simply because we do not have the money for even one of us to go, so it will be a miracle unfolding before our eyes!
Another idea we discussed was to start meeting with one or two other like-minded families on a regular basis (either weekly or bi-weekly) to encourage one another, share more ideas on practical ways to carry out God’s calling on our lives, and to help each other actually carry out the message of the Gospel. This is where Radical Together comes in. It’s emphasis is more on the Church and how to get your community moving in the right direction. We are meeting with these families later this month! I am so anxious to see God move in each of us as individuals, as families, and as a community of believers. Truly, together through the power of His Spirit we can change the world! And that’s something worth resolving to do.
Get the Books
What resolutions have you made this New Year? What steps are you taking to keep yourself and your family centered around Christ this year?