It’s the first week of January and the gyms and fitness centers are once again doing a booming business. If it weren’t for New Year’s resolutions and people’s best intentions, I’m sure a lot of these places would never survive. For some reason, the change in the calendar year inspires folks to make changes and to establish new (and better) patterns for their lives.
Having made my share of resolutions, New Year’s and otherwise, I know how these things often end. “I’m going to get into shape!” turns into one very intense visit to the gym followed by several weeks of a slow and painful rehabilitation. I read some good advice for folks hoping to get into shape: “take it slow!” Be smart about what you do and how you do it. You don’t need to go on a starvation diet – you need to learn to eat properly. You don’t need to kill yourself at the gym – you need to incorporate some exercise and movement into your life. It’s not about changing everything at once – it’s about learning to live in a more balanced, healthy way.
I understand the enthusiasm that often accompanies a new, healthier routine. I also understand that if that enthusiasm isn’t managed wisely, it can do more harm than good. As with most things that are healthy and beneficial, it isn’t the one time change that is going to make a critical difference, but the little changes that transform the daily contour of our lives.
I believe there is one small change that many of us can make in the New Year that will trickle down and create many other positive changes. A resolution to grow in one’s relationship with God is a wonderful resolution. Unfortunately, such a large and unfocused goal might lead one into the spiritual equivalent of a hasty and ultimately unhelpful visit to the gym. Why not try making Sunday morning worship attendance a priority in the New Year? Perhaps that might lead to other changes, like Bible Study or other kinds of service, but for now – how about giving every Sunday morning to God, regardless of how good it might feel to sleep in or do something else during that time?
Remember, it’s all about making small, sustainable changes to your life that ultimately lead to the kind of happiness, meaning and well-being each of us desires. This is true both for our physical and spiritual health. Make worship a priority and in 2011 and discover the blessings God has in store for you.