New Year’s Resolutions
The holiday season is a time to celebrate all sorts of things – the birth of Christ, the ushering in of more light as the earth passes through her darkest days and sheds the shadows for the promise of springtime and warmth. There is also the passing of Old Father Time as one year trades itself for a new one.
For many people, 2016 was a year of loss and grief. Almost every post I see on social media these days is bidding 2016 a not-so-fond farewell and wishing for a better 2017.
A typical kickoff to any new year is to give some thought to resolutions, or a resolve to make changes in your life. A new year is a great landmark and opportunity to recognize and acknowledge accomplishments and reflect on areas of improvement. It’s about putting the past behind you and looking forward to the future with hope and gentle anticipation of good things to come.
As midnight approaches on December 31, it is natural to ponder what changes you want to make in your life. I know I have already spent some time reflecting on the past year, and taking a self inventory on what changes I would like to make, or continue making.
Having said that, I’m not really a big believer in new year’s resolutions. To quote Mary Poppins, “That’s a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken.” I do believe in setting goals and self improvement, of course. But I know that if I waited until January 1 each year to make changes to my life, I would not be taking full advantage of the atonement, and the ready help Jesus Christ waits to give us.
In John 5, we read the story of the man who waited at the pool at Bethesda, hoping beyond hope for a miracle. There was a legend that when an angel touched the waters, the first person to enter those waters would be healed. This man had been sick for 38 years. We don’t know how old he was at the time of this story, but 38 years is a long time in anyone’s book to be ill, to be waiting for a miracle.
Jesus asks him a simple question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6)
I love that question. It’s so simple, yet elegant. Of course the answer is yes! If Jesus were to come to any of us and ask us that question we would unhesitatingly shout, “Yes! Make me whole!” It wouldn’t matter what ailed us, or for how long, or what other solutions up to that point we had sought. When the Creator and Master of the universe asks us if we would be made whole, there can be no other answer than a simple, “Yes.”
Wherever you are in life, or however unkind this past year has been to you, whatever improvements you want to make, consider Jesus’ question to the man at the pool of Bethesda, then turn it to you. Just as Jesus was this man’s only hope in this mortal life to be healed, or to undergo a complete transformation and be made whole again, so He is our only hope to be made whole.
Wilt thou be made whole?
If you’re a resolution-maker or not, ask yourself in what areas of your life Jesus can be let in? Consider what you want to accomplish, achieve, be, or do, then consult with the powers of heaven. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your desires?
- What are your motivations?
- How have you counseled with Father in regard to your goal and desire?
- How does He feel about your attempts to accomplish this thing?
- What counsel does He have for you to reach your goal?
There is no need to do any of it on your own. Especially if you feel like you have tried, failed, and are trying again in what appears to be a never-ending cycle, you cannot do it on your own. You will need the power of the atonement to help you achieve wholeness.
Wilt thou be made whole?