I remember my first New Year’s Resolution. I was in fourth grade and our teacher asked us to make a resolution. She said that if we kept to our resolution for two weeks it would become a habit. I committed to shoot baskets for fifteen minutes everyday. That year, I kept it up until the end of my basketball season and by the time I was in seventh grade, I was shooting baskets almost year around.
This experience showed me the power of one simple goal and how it can change your life. I responded to my teacher’s challenge because setting goals, sticking to commitments, and being schedule oriented fits my personality. I border a little on obsessive compulsive but many people are not this way. If you hate making lists and appreciate spontaneity and variety more than me how can you make the most of an honest desire to improve something in your life? You need a vision and not a goal.
Goals are specific and detailed, visions are broad and demonstrate a finished product. I can commit to pray for five minutes, five days a week but that in itself will not get me to my vision which is to become a more Christlike person. If I envision myself being more loving, willing to serve others, and experiencing deeper, richer moments with God than that vision starts to shape my entire day not just the five minutes I spend in prayer. If I am truly captured by my vision, than the day has endless possibilities for growth and dedication to God. I start to ask myself over and over, will this next choice I make get me closer to my vision of being more like Christ?
Have you let the yearly trend of setting resolutions influence you to take on an activity that in a few weeks will seem silly and lacking urgency? Then why not skip the resolutions and choose a vision instead? Imagine if God’s people chose the vision of becoming more like Christ in 2012? Wouldn’t the result be much more powerful than God’s people choosing some spiritual activity that only seems to be completed for the sake of completing it?
Join me in 2012 in becoming more like Christ. This will look different for each one of us but if our vision is captured by the possibility of the radical change that Christ can accomplish in our life, we will stop at nothing at making it a reality.