Even if a little late, I wish you all a very happy New Year!
I am grateful to the Lord for ushering me and you into this brand near 2015 and I wish and pray that this year turns out to be a great, joyous, and blessed year for you. Like most people, I am pretty sure you too made a few resolutions for this New Year. And, like most people, you too may fail at those resolutions in the very first month of the year. But don’t worry as you are in good company. In fact, a study in the United Kingdom reveals that only about 12% people meet their New Year goals and that means 88% people fail. Interestingly, 52% participants in a sample size of 3000 people said that they were confident of their success (http://www.quirkology.com/UK/Experiment_resolution.shtml)!
Consequently, I do not make any resolutions because, I believe, even if we are in the New Year, we are the same old you and I. We know that there is a lot of pressure on us to make New Year resolutions. The media is constantly bombarding us with the messages that challenge and motivate us to pull ourselves up by the shoulders and muster all the strengths we have to become the person that you and I are not: skinny, ever-loving, never smelly, rich, powerful, amicable, lovable, attractive, and so on and so forth. That is, everything the world wants us to become and in reality we cannot. Still, many of us jump on the bandwagon of yearly resolutions expecting this New Year to be different from the last years. However, a few weeks into the New Year and a whopping 88% people give up as they realize that they are the same old people. The years go by and we are stuck with the same old person who is getting older and older by every New Year!
Therefore, I think, instead of making resolutions, we need to work on getting a new us—a new you and a new me! This is possible only through looking within instead of eyeing only on the outside. The problem is not with the world. Rather, it lies within you and me. Unless there something changes within us, i.e., our attitude to be precise, the New Year resolutions would not help us much. Attitude is the key word that makes a huge difference in how the New Year will turn out for us. In fact, our attitude is more important than our circumstances, our successes, and our failures. It is more important than what others think of us and want us to be like or do. It is more important that what the media tells us that we should be like. We need to, then, pause and do a self-inventory of our attitude in this New Year. Attitude is how you react to your circumstances and people around you. Attitude is not revealed in how we normally live and react when everything goes the way we have planned it; rather, attitude manifests itself when we are faced with very trying circumstances and difficult people. Our response then reveals to us and to the world our true attitude. If somehow we could let the Holy Spirit to make changes within us than outside us, we may gain a better attitude and live more victoriously in the New Year. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NASB).
I close here with a short story that I read a while ago as it beautifully illustrates what attitude is and what it can do to us and to the world around us. Thanks for reading and God bless your journey!
“Once upon a time, there was an old and very wise man. Every day he would sit outside a gas station in his rocking chair and wait to greet motorists as they passed through his small town. On one particular day, his grandson knelt down at the foot of his chair and slowly passed the time with him. As they sat and watched the people come and go, a man who surely had to be a tourist began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live.The stranger walked up to the old man and asked, “So what kind of town is this that I’m in?” The man replied, “Well, what kind of town are you from?”The tourist said, “Well, in the town where I’m from everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbors all gossip about everyone, and it’s a really negative place to live. I’m sure glad to be leaving. It is not a very cheerful place.”The old man in the chair looked at the stranger and said, “You know, that’s just how this town is.”An hour or so later, a family that was also passing through stopped for gas. The mother jumped out with two small children and went into the restroom. The father also got out of the car and, he too, struck up a conversation with the old man. “So,” he asked, “Is this town a pretty good place to live?” The old man in the chair replied, “Tell me about the town you’re from. How is it?”The father looked at him and said, “Well, in the town we’re from everyone is very close and always willing to lend their neighbor a helping hand. There’s always a hello and thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave. It’s almost like we are leaving family.” The older man gave him a warm smile. “You know, that’s a lot like this town.” Then the family returned to the car, waved goodbye and drove away.After the car disappeared in the distance, the boy looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Grandpa, how come when the first man came into our town you told him it was a terrible place to live, but when the family came into town you told them it was a wonderful place to live?” The grandfather looked down at his grandson and said, “Because, sonny, no matter where you move, you take your attitude with you – that’s what makes it terrible or wonderful.”