As I 'pen' these words, we find ourselves on the verge of a new year, new opportunities & a fresh set of resolutions! 'New Year's Resolutions' have become almost cliche', with many people clamoring for the chancre to begin anew, make a fresh start with a clean slate & hopefully do a better job of keeping those resolutions in the coming year than they have in the past. Some will resolve anything from 'tying the knot' to exercising more & eating less ( or differently ), while others resolve not to make any resolutions at all!
One resolution that we should all make, but which is easier said than done, is to do better than the previous year! Many will make this resolution, especially those who have chosen ( 'mea culpa' ) to learn life's lessons the hard way. It is apparent that changes need to be made, but again, this is easier said than done. When we have become fairly comfortable ( even though it may be very stressful ) with our current lifestyle, it is often very hard, both emotionally & physically speaking, to make those changes that we know deep down are necessary. Sometimes, it is easier for someone on the outside looking in, not only to see that something needs to change, but also to be able to elucidate what that change should look like. However our eyes are opened, it's still up to us to implement the change, to set in motion the wheels that ( hopefully ) will improve our lives on this earth!
Change is not always a good thing; sometimes people can make wrong or bad resolutions ( choices ), in the process making an even bigger mess of their lives than they were previously! Individuals always have a choice & the choices we make, while they may seem like a good idea at the time, are not always good ones. We might choose to 'listen to our heart', all the while forgetting where our 'heart' has led us in the past, or we might choose to listen to our head instead, though we should remember where that wisdom has gotten us in the past, as well!
'What to do, what to do?' Are we fated to simply 'run in place', so to speak, just flitting between flowers, hoping that the next one will provide us with what we need, or is there hope for us, that we can make a change in our own lives, to disrupt the seemingly endless cycle of failures? Though change is not always a good thing, with the right resolution, it IS a good thing! If we stick to our resolve to better ourselves & our situation, we can, no matter the extenuating circumstance or outside influences, make the necessary adjustments in our own lives. This is not to say, however, that we can make these adjustments ( changes ) on our own or by ourselves!
We all need help, once in awhile; someone or something to goad us, to move us onto & along a certain path that we otherwise would not have chosen! Whether it's a matter of comfort, a weak will or just plain & simple blindness, sometimes we just cannot bring ourselves to the point where we need to be. This is where our Heavenly Father makes His Blessed Presence known; either circumstances 'come our way' that force us to make the changes necessary, or certain people come into our lives, whether just for a season or to stay, that help us along the way to make those difficult choices that lead to a better life!
As we enter this New Year, whether with a clean slate or not, whether we follow the 'New Year's Resolution' crowd or not, let us all resolve to make the most of the opportunities we are given! Although we will no doubt be faced with many different kinds of opportunities, not all of these should be considered ( some aren't even worth considering ); some of these opportunities will probably have a familiar odor to them ( like, 'we've been here before!' ) while others still will offer us the chance to better our situation ( even if it seems like 'small beginnings' ). What we choose to do with this smorgasbord of opportunities is what will determine if we better our life, or if we damn our existence!
The Wisdom our Heavenly Father gives us is what makes the difference! Our own wisdom, the wisdom of our head & heart, that which tells us to do what feels good, or what we want ( not ALWAYS a bad thing ) is often what keeps us stumbling around in the dark, so to speak, always doing what we've always done, hoping that 'this time will be different'. People DO change, yes, but if they do not leave the path they were on, then this is evidence that they have NOT changed! In order for one to make the necessary changes in their life ( for good ) it is usually necessary to make it evident; one must make a complete turn-around ( even if it's gradual ) & leaving the path they were on, begin to walk a new path, even though it is uphill & strewn with carcasses!
Charles Haddon Shank