The New Year is a time where many people ask, “What is your resolution?” To be honest, I am not a big resolution person. It’s not that I’m against the idea. They have worked in many people’s lives. I guess when I look at the definition of a resolution, “a firm decision to do or not do something,” I make them often. For me, I struggle with the idea of a big New Year’s resolution out of mere tradition’s sake. I think such decisions ought to be prayerfully God directed and not flippantly made.
I do have a practice at the end of each year to do some self-reflection and evaluation. Sure, there are times I make the decision, and I guess, resolve to do certain things and not do others. But, several years ago, I began focusing on my being along with my doing. I believe what I do wells up from who I am, my being. So, I decide where the Lord is leading me in my becoming more like Christ and prayerfully decide how I ought to invest in my being and my doing.
Whether I am working on my doing or being, I have learned that it’s great to dream big, but it’s the small steps that often lead to big change and accomplishments. I can get so caught up in a dream that I forget it’s the little efforts that add up to make a dream a reality. Too often, dreams are not pursued due to the fear of taking the first step.
In Zechariah 4:10, we are told, “Do not despise the small beginnings.” The context of this verse is the growth of the reconstruction of the Temple that had begun under Zerubbabel. It would have been a challenge to those who had worked on it and saw it and believed it was a small thing. It wasn’t like it was back in the day. The steps taken seemed small and insignificant. However, truth be told, God’s work often starts out small and in an unobtrusive way, yet reaches a great and glorious conclusion.
Jesus spoke these words:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matt 13:31-32).
Jesus is painting a picture of the small beginnings of the Christian movement in Palestine that would eventually bring about the global church comprised of people from every nation on earth. God’s work often appears insignificant at first but has far-reaching results.
As we head into a new year, whether you call it a resolution or a commitment, whether it’s something to do or not do, or about your being – who you are in Christ, remember it’s all about the next step. Dare to prayerfully dream. I believe God wants to do more in and through us than any of us truly can imagine. But don’t shy away from asking God to clarify for you the next step He is calling you to take. It might seem small and even insignificant, but it could be the beginning of something quite remarkable.
It’s a joy to enter into a new year with each of you in our Lord’s service. It is my prayer that each of us finds ourselves closer to Christ and more committed than ever to journey with Him to make Him known. Remember, each step matters, no matter how big or small it may appear. After all, Jesus said His church began like the smallest of seeds, but oh how it’s grown. What is true of His Kingdom is also true of our lives as well. Pray, obey, and take the next step. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!