How’s that New Year’s resolution coming along?

| March 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Darrell V. Burriss
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment Chaplain
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

On the mainland, springtime is approaching.

Trees will begin to show signs of life again. Grass will soon start getting green. Flowers will bloom, and the time between sunrise and sunset will get longer.

It happens the same way every year, a slow, but steady changing of the season.

Burriss

Burriss

Sometimes that’s just how we like change – slow, steady and almost unnoticeable. But sometimes we want change to happen all at once.

For example, our spouse has a habit of doing or saying something that makes us feel slighted or unloved. Though our spouse promises to change, he/she soon forgets, and we have to give reminder after reminder.

Unlearning one habit and learning a new habit takes some time. It’s not going to happen within a week. Nevertheless, we expect, we demand that the change happen all at once. When it doesn’t, we get just as frustrated as we do when other changes happen overnight.

Here’s another example – the New Year’s resolution. How many of us made a New Year’s resolution that we have already given up on?

Often, a New Year’s resolution has something to do with changing eating habits. The usual script goes something like this: We start off well, trip over all the holiday leftovers, get up determined to stay on track, trip one or two more times and decide there is no point in getting back up.

But it’s not just the New Year’s resolution. It’s anytime we decide to change something about ourselves.

We think that because we have determined to change, it won’t be difficult. We think there will be no setbacks. When we get off track a few times, we decide we have failed. The point of failure was not in getting off track; it was the decision to remain there.

When an individual tries to change, the process is not a sprint. No, it’s a five-mile brigade formation run. There will be some stop and go, some sprinting, but mostly, just methodically pushing pavement for a long period of time.

So, let’s remember to give our ourselves (and others) permission to be human – permission to have periods of sprinting success, permission to have periods of stop and go, set back, and permission to have a long period of methodically pushing pavement on the road to change.

For encouragement on the run, I offer you the words of the apostle Paul:

“However, this is the one thing I do – forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead of me.”   — Philippians 3:13

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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