(Image obtained through Google...not mine!)
New Year's resolutions can seem a little cheesy and, lets face it, we almost never stick to them. Our resolution to lose weight ends as quickly as it begins or we don't travel the world like we vowed to do at the beginning of January. Some might even call these resolutions cliche. I am one of those people. Resolutions are too easily broken, hardily ever genuine, and many people just make something up on the eve of New Years without even really putting much thought into how it will be accomplished. So would you be surprised to learn that I have a resolution this year?
Sometimes you reach crossroads in your life when you realize that you are carrying things that are no longer self-serving. These burdens are warned about in the bible. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
In the past year, I have realized that I have a hard time letting go of some of my burdens. While I may hand big things over to Jesus (school, financial worries, etc), I find myself breaking my back over little things. Every night I go to bed and I pray that the next day I am used as a servant. Servitude is so so important, however I find that sometimes I don't put me first enough.
This may sound somewhat backwards from what Jesus commands us to do. We're supposed to serve others, right? Absolutely! Serve others in your words and actions, help them carry their burdens (Galatians 6:2), put others first in whatever you do. However, sometimes we may find it hard to serve others because we ourselves are mentally exhausted, physically worn-down, and just in need of a break. I've found this true in my own life time and time again.
So this year, as my first New Year's resolution, I plan on following a new "Treat Yo Self" philosophy. Others will be put first in my life always, however sometimes to do that in a way that best lovingly points others to Jesus, I must put myself first and take care of my own burdens, and I encourage you to do the same.
Take time to enjoy your life and to pamper yourself. Take hot baths, read good books, go for a run or stretch it out, lay in bed for a really long time, sit on Pinterest for a few hours, have coffee on the front porch alone, whatever it is that relaxes you, but take time out for you to be alone with God and reset yourself. The world is a busy place and life moves fast, it's so easy to become a worrisome grouch. I truly believe the first step in serving others is serving yourself and making sure that you are mentally and emotionally ready to help lighten someone else's load.
Jesus' 40 day stay in the desert certainly was no hot bath or self-vacation, however he used that time alone to do exactly this: Get yourself on track with God, be alone and secluded, and get yourself straight before you help others get straight.
I hope this blog entry helps you set a real, attainable, and highly important New Years resolution. You officially have permission to take a day off in your pjs and read a book completely doing you.