This is the month of earnest pleas, honest assessments, and lofty goals. We just had 12 months of “whatever just happened”,
in our past, and we are determined to make the next twelve better, grander.
This will be “our year, we say.
So we hit the reset button.
Here’s the thing I learned about my own personal reset button. We relocated from Richmond, California to Atlanta, Georgia last summer. While the idea of moving had been swimming around in our minds for over a month, the actual move occurred rather quickly. Once the date was set, time sped up, and sent us spinning.
One of the things that happened to me in the mind swimming period was I began to look forward to the move as a type of reset. After several moves, I’ve come to realize that all moves and new beginnings are a reset of sorts. That is to be expected. But, I’d developed an unrealistic and perhaps, unhealthy expectation.
See, there are some things that I wanted to be different in my life once I moved. I wanted to be more consistent, read more, write more, be kinder, get my life together, etc. Someone said, “The cool thing about moving to a new place is you get to re-invent yourself.”
Yeah. Not really.
Who I was in California, I am in Georgia. I’m still an extroverted introvert who will sit, observe and evaluate a situation before diving in. I’m still rather laid back…until the moment that I’m not. My strengths and struggles are the same. The location is different, the triggers may be wrapped in different packages, and the opportunities to express both sides of the coin may present themselves in different ways.
But. At the end of the day, I am who I am.
That gets me to my next point.
You know how the reset button works.
You’re on a device and it freezes and the only way to progress is to reset the device.
You are using an appliance, and decide to plug in another. Or, you utilize an outlet that you vaguely remember tripped the last time you used it. But, you chance it anyway. What happens? You trip the breaker and have to hit the reset button.
But, think about it.
You knew before you hit the reset button that something was not quite right. The device warns you with weird glitches and momentary freezes. There is a warning that a problem exists and you need to deal with it – sooner or later.
And tripping the breaker? You knew what happened the last time you used it. But convenience (or laziness) convinced you to try it even though you knew the result.
I propose that many of the reset buttons we wait for – the new year, the new job, the new relationship, a move – we shouldn’t need.
We already know who we are.
For whatever reasons, we wait until we are forced to deal with the inevitable, instead of taking precautionary steps along the way to address our issues.
We don’t need a new beginning to do what we know we need to do.
Pressing the reset button does not work if you keep doing the same thing, but expect different results.
I’ve heard that they call that insanity.
That is what I had to face once getting to Atlanta. I was still…me. If I didn’t make a conscious decision, followed up with conscientious effort to change, pressing the reset button was futile.
The same issues that plagued me in California (and Tennessee, and Florida, and…) would still plague me here. The only thing that changed was the locale.
I needed a heart change. I needed to see that I did not want some tragedy to bring me to my knees. I needed to want change.
I needed to know (and feel) that I cannot begin my days without prayer. My entire morning is thrown off without surrendering my day to God. A daily reset or sorts. My kids don’t know to ask if I’ve prayed, but they can definitely feel if I haven’t.
I needed to know that my word from two years ago – abide- was not just for that year. It is for a lifetime – “apart from <Him> I can do nothing” (that has eternal, long-lasting value). Last year isn’t the only year I need to “choose joy”. That’s a lifetime virtue.
I needed to see that misusing my time, talents and resources didn’t just affect me – it impacts my husband, my children, friends, and others who do not get what I am supposed to give because I am choosing to be selfish/lazy/uninvolved/checked out.
So, as you enter 2017, only you and God REALLY know what you need to work on. It’s been that nagging voice for
days, weeks, months, years.
You know that relationship you are supposed to mend.
That attitude you need to change.
That habit you need to break.
That habit you need to develop.
That thing you need to pursue.
But, for the love of God, and His purpose for your life in the lives of others, do it like you mean it. For real.