You know how it is.
New year = new resolve.
“I will do more of this and less of that.”
Old habits are traded for new. New ways of thinking are tested out. Priorities are reset.
We want our bodies and minds to be better. We want our wills to be stronger.
And by Valentine’s Day, life goes back to how it looked on December 31.
Diets fail. Workouts fall off the grid. All of those books we wanted to read gather dust on the shelf.
All of our good intentions seem to peter out before they even really got started.
Why is that?
The answer could be just as simple as the fact that it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
But I think it goes deeper. Way deeper.
It seems we focus on the external change, hoping it will make its way inside of us, a sort of osmosis, changing us from the outside in.
Our thinking is backwards and upside down.
I think we are ignoring the one (and most important) part of us that is crying out for attention and care. The part that affects our minds, our bodies, our wills.
And, at the risk of being redundant, I’ll say it again.
I’m discovering that when my soul is fed and healthy and finds its resting and nestling place in God’s presence, the things that need changing in my life seem to come so much more naturally.
– When my soul feeds on the nutrients of God’s words, it becomes less satisfied and almost sickened by the “junk food” alternatives for its appetite.
This somehow results in me being more aware of what I am feeding my body, of the need for healthy and nutrient filled food, as opposed to my natural bent toward sugar. I begin to realize how much better I feel from the inside out when I listen to my body and what it actually needs.
– When my soul takes in the fulfilling truth of who God is and what He says about Himself, about me, about my world I have less room for useless fillers.
My mind begins to crave important information and wisdom over trivia and meaningless gossip. It longs for things that make it grow and learn and become.
– When my soul takes root each day in God Himself, it doesn’t get entangled in the weeds of other soils of worry and stress and anxiety.
This is when my will begins to shift its focus and perspective. It recognizes its potential strength and fights against anything that would threaten that. My resolve builds muscles and learns how to use them.
And it all starts with a little thing we call the soul.
The most important and most ignored part of mankind, and the highest thing on God’s priority list.
In this New Year, let’s change our resolutions to one common theme.
Let’s change our backward thinking around and begin to work from the inside out.
To find the only true resting place for our souls – God – and allowing our lives to function and thrive from that place.
And then just watch what happens to our minds, our bodies and our wills.
2016 might just be the year we see the most change yet!
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being (my soul) longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.