Have you made them yet? You know, your New Year’s Revolutions? I have called them revolutions for years because, at least for me, it’s pretty revolutionary if I keep any of them much past the month of January. Some of them I actually put a “best if used by” date to try and stay at least a little motivated. The universal ones are usually about weight loss and getting in shape. I say let’s go for it, and I also have come to understand that if we don’t sorta accept ourselves as we are, deciding to make major physical changes that become a healthier lifestyle doesn’t work as well. An odd paradox . . . the more we accept ourselves as we are, the more likely we are to want to be healthier which may mean moving more, eating healthier, and maybe losing a little weight along the way. May sound like a mind game, but I believe it and have experienced it as well.
If the starting point is accepting ourselves as we are, then we have to give God a little credit for how we have been made. Evolution bevolution; big bang big shmang; we can spend our time arguing about how things came into being if we want, I suppose that would distract us from deciding to do something about being healthier – easier to argue than to go outside for a walk, register for a yoga class (I know a great instructor from Grace!) enroll in a better cooking better eating group, learn to play pickleball – it’s all the rage!!! If we focus on God wanting good things for us, then we open ourselves to what those good things might be rather than bemoaning how bad we’re doing at whatever it is we’ve decided we’re bad at doing.
While I was home with my fam for a few days, my very tolerant great-nephews played a little basketball with me. I seriously used to be a decent athlete with a decent shot, and in my mind I still am! In reality? Not so much. Something happened between my teens and my 60’s and it’s the oddest experience. My mind remembers how it used to be like yesterday – my ability seems to have lost its way down some one-way road to wait-that-sorta-hurts-ville. For a few minutes I was terribly frustrated and then realized how much fun it is to have great-nephews who are still willing to patiently have a little fun with me. How great it was to be outside and to do a running commentary of how things were going which did make them laugh a little – either with or at me, depending. I may have had to dramatically fall and roll around on the ground a time or two as if I had been fouled with one of those kind where you get dismissed from the game. Mostly it was to get a little rest. Later that night as I took a few advil to try and ease some muscles I had forgotten existed, I decided moving more in my daily existence might be a good decision. My first New Year’s Revolution!!! God does have a sense of humor in how God opens the doors for us to possibly choose a few changes to make life better. May be the only way to get through some of the hardheadedness of an old great aunt.
I don’t know how God might work for you, but I have no doubt God does. I believe God’s vision for us is to have the best quality of life possible because that’s how we are the best blessing to others that we might be. As you think about, decide, or even refuse to make any New Year’s Revolutions of your own, let God’s Spirit live in you a little bit. Before you decide what you should be doing because the way you are now isn’t up to expectation, and then decide you refuse to consider it because you know you’ll just quit before January is over – I’ve been there too – maybe give God some credit for how you are the way you are right now. Decide with me at least some of that ain’t so bad, and then start from there toward what might simply make you feel better – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s less about starting and quitting or not starting at all, and more about simply living and finding joy in being you. Yes, I need to stop before I go completely down the road of trite bumper stickers.
Live with grace for yourself so that you can live with grace toward others – that’s really the bottom line I think. And if you want, let me know how the yoga or the pickleball, or the walking, or the music lessons, or the culinary class, or the ping-ponging is going – maybe this new year really will be filled with revolutions!