Tag Archives: new year resolutions

Go Against the Flow: The Anti-New Year Resolution

I hate trendiness, especially when I find myself the one trending. At various times in my life I have vowed to never wear a biking outfit, use a cell phone, or participate in Facebook. Fortunately the picture of me Facebooking on my iPhone while mountain biking clad in a bike outfit has yet to surface. It would ruin my well-groomed image of myself as a rebel.

That refusal to go with the flow is the reason I no longer make New Year resolutions. Everybody makes them and then nobody keeps them. There is only one New Year resolution I’ve ever made that I kept.

Several years ago I resolved to never make New Year resolutions. I’ve been faithful in my resolve until now.

As you may know, I declared 2012 to be the year of living spiritually: a year where I will daily look for the ordinary, sometimes invisible to the naked eye, soul in life. Since I don’t make resolutions and I decided to start this on December 26, 2011, I didn’t realize it was a New Year resolution.

Then a friend of mine, Deirdre Bylery, who is joining in on this journey, wrote on our Facebook page, “Seems to me New Year resolutions are all ‘me’ focused — getting me skinnier, fitter, more successful etc. Even when it comes to God, it’s ‘how is God going to use ME?’ It’s like looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Wouldn’t it be something if in 2012 the focus was the search for God, not myself?”

Great point, Deirdre. And too true.

And I never intended this to be a year-long experiment. Or a resolution, even if it is a better resolution than usual. I want to be changed into a person who–more often than not –is seeking God rather than myself. I want this to be how I live, not just something I do.

I am not satisfied with how casually I treat God and people and my world. How often I muddle through a day without truly seeing. I don’t want to be more successful but rather more real, human, spiritual.

And that’s the trouble. Resolutions are concrete. We at least know when we’ve broken them. It’s easy to measure the weight we haven’t lost, the success we haven’t gained, and the fitness we missed. But how does one measure being more real, more human, more spiritual? Maybe that’s what this is all about: just learning how to ask the questions and look for possible answers.

Eugene C. Scott is writing these God sightings down daily in a journal and invites you to see the spiritual and join him in looking for God sightings in 2012. Also tell your stories about what it’s like. Comment here and join our “Living Spiritually” community by visiting and liking facebook.com/livingspiritually. Eugene is co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church.

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The Challenge for Twenty-Twelve

Can you find something you are thankful for each day? Can you open yourself to seeing God in your life-not just in the big events-but in the little moments too?

Our lives can get pretty busy with work, family, and friends.  Most people are so caught up in their lives that they miss out on the greater adventure that life can become.  I think God tugs on our lives each year.  He calls us, most of the time very gently, to join him in a grand adventure, which is why every year we make goals to improve our lives.  We yearn for more, maybe even for the life God has for us, but often we give up one week in.  I think that happens because we are trying to reach these goals alone.  So let’s join together in making 2012 a special year.  As an online community let’s place God at the center of our lives.

Here is my challenge.  Live 2012 Spiritually.

Living Spiritually means listening for God and doing what he asks.

On Christmas Eve I realized I hadn’t really given anything good to half of my family.  Fortunately hours before midnight I felt a gentle nudge to challenge my family to keep a daily journal about how they saw God.

For a brief moment I tried to ignore the idea.  Nah, too much work.  But then it hit me, if I didn’t try this idea I’d never know what God could do with this.  So I said yes, drove up to Wal-Mart, fought off the last minute shoppers, picked up six journals, printed out some pictures (that way each journal had a personalized photo for each person), and drove home knowing this gift would be an incredibly hard challenge.

On Christmas Day my family opened up their journals and the idea of challenging everyone to open their eyes to God’s daily activities sprang to life.

This is a challenge my family is taking on together.  Now I want to invite you to join in.  Say yes to God’s gentle nudge.  You will not be alone in this.  Together we will make 2012 a different year, a special year.  Do you want to go on a grand Adventure?  If so, pick up a journal and keep track of how you see God work in your life.

Here is how I am going to do it.

Every day I am going to read the Bible.  God is relational and the best way to get to know Him is to read his word.

Every day I am going to write down what I am thankful for.  I believe keeping track of what I am thankful for will help me stay focused when times get tough.

Every day I am going to look for ways I’ve been blessed and when I see them I will write it down too.  I believe if I am looking for God’s gifts, God will make me a person who is more willing to give and receive blessings.

Every day I am going to recognize God’s presence.  He is in the big moments and the little moments.  It just takes opening my eyes and looking for him.  I will write down what I see in my journal.

Writing all of this down is key.  Go grab a journal, it doesn’t have to cost much or be fancy, and start writing.  It trains us to look for God and see what He is doing.  And at the end of the year we have proof of a life lived with God at the forefront of our every day lives.

Adding these four steps to your already busy life might seem daunting, but when you join in on this adventure you aren’t doing this alone.  Through prayer and scripture we will do this together, and as my nearly three year old little niece Addi once said, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Living Spiritually means saying yes to God.  Keep God at the center of your life in 2012 and join us on this adventure.

Brendan helped his dad create facebook.com/livingspiritually and would like you to like the page.  When you like the page you will join us in our adventure and have a great way to interact with a broad group of people who have committed to living spiritually.  If you are on twitter tweet #livingspiritually2012 to join the conversation about how God is working in their lives.

Happy New Year!

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