Well, we’re 10 days into the New Year. How’s it going with those resolutions?
There’s something fresh about a new year that makes us want to declare “this is the year for me! I’m going to do things differently!” We tend to make plans about diet, exercise, spending habits and organization goals. All worthy pursuits, to be sure.
One time, years ago, I needed to refresh my make-up supply. Shopping for make-up can be a bit overwhelming! And, as usual, I was in a bit of a hurry. There are so many different brands, types, and shades of everything in the make-up isles! I was in need of a new foundation that day. But as I lingered in the isle surveying all my options, I realized I was out of time, and needed to get going. So, I grabbed the same foundation that I had had before and thought to myself “I’ll try something new next time…I need to go.”
Later, at home, I applied my new foundation. And to my disappointment, it was two shades darker than what I usually bought. Someone must have put this one back in the wrong place! It was a little more “orangy” than my natural skin tone. “Well,” I thought, “I paid good money for that, and I’ve already opened it, so I guess I’ll just have to make it work”. I tried to adjust the other make up products, like my eye shadow and blush, to account for the foundation that wasn’t right. But it really only got worse from there! I ended up looking a bit like a circus clown with all the adjustments!
As long as my foundation was “off” it didn’t matter what I applied on top of it to try to make it better. It was wasted effort.
I thought about this recently as I pondered “New Years Resolutions”.
As we give thought to what needs to change in our lives, we imagine that if we lost weight, or organized our home or stopped spending money frivolously, that everything would get better. And while those kinds of adjustments are good, until we get our foundation right, they are really just wasted effort.
So, what kind of foundation am I talking about?
Time with God. Time in His word. The foundation of our days which sets everything else in place properly.
I have learned that when I want to prioritize the areas of my life, like finances, and health, it can be difficult to give each one the proper focus, the correct amount of attention. I find myself thinking “Once I am more organized, (or healthy, or in control,) then I will be able to prioritize my time in God’s word”. I assume that, when I have some of the other areas of my life “in control”, that making time to order my spiritual life will also fall into place. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In Mathew 6:31-33, (the Sermon on the Mount) Jesus himself speaks to it this way; “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ (Diet and exercise?) or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Spending habits and organization?) For the unbelievers run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Jesus was addressing our humanity and putting it into the proper perspective. It is natural for us, as human beings, to think about what we’ll eat or drink (or how healthy, financially responsible, or organized we are). Notice Jesus didn’t’ say that this was a bad thing. But He just states that if we will “seek first His kingdom” that everything else will fall into place. That we won’t have to worry about those things, because God knows we need them, and He will take care of us.
Seeking first His kingdom, means prioritizing Him before other pursuits.
This can mean reading your bible first thing in the morning. In fact, that’s a great place to start. What I do first with my day, sets the tone (if you will) for the rest of it. I have learned to give God the “first fruits” of my day. I have come to see that when I read His love letter to me each morning (the Bible), that it becomes the lens that I see the rest of my day through. Everything else seems to fit into its proper place when I start there. Time in God’s word becomes my foundation.
So, that when I add in other pursuits, like health and my priorities, they are not out of balance. I can see them clearly, through the lens of scripture.
Again, in Matthew 7:24, Jesus says this; “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
If 2022 is going to be The Year, it starts today. It starts with small steps and proper foundations. Not lofty, giant goals that we may never achieve. Rather than making a resolution, check your foundation.
Read your Bible.
Join a Bible study.
Get to church.
Seek first His kingdom, and everything else will fall into place!
Lord, I want my priorities to be in order. There are so many areas of my life that I want to get in line with Your plan for me. I acknowledge that if I will start by making Your word the foundation of everything else I desire, then You are there. You will lead me in Your ways and give me all that I need. Cause me to desire You above all else. Be my firm foundation.