Adventure, Leadership, Life

The trouble with New Year’s resolutions

First let me say I’m a huge fan of goal setting, for that matter I often make New Year’s resolutions. I do think goals work better when they have a deadline for achievement rather than a start date (but that’s another post for another day).

The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that they make us think we’re the masters of our own universe. That we’re the point of the story. When we think we’re in charge we end up shrinking the story we’re living in down to be us sized.

Most of you know (or if you’ve been reading a while, have suspected) that I’m a follower of Jesus. And for those of us that follow Jesus we have a choice to make every day. And that’s which story we’re going to live in. Are we going to live in our own small story, where we’re the main character and it’s all about us. Or are we going to live in the larger story, where He is the hero and we have a vital role to play. If we believe that we’re characters (albeit important ones) in a much larger story then everything changes. It helps put a lot of things in proper perspective.

At the begginning of The Hobbit, Gandolph shows up and makes Bilbo an offer,¬†”I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging.” But Bilbo, like us, is used to his own comfortable life, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can‚Äôt think what anybody sees in them.” But being a polite fellow he invites Gandolph for tea the next day…and most of us know the rest of the story.

There’s an invitation that God has for you this coming year. ¬†An invitation into a larger story, an adventure of epic proportions.

So, here’s a question for you to ponder as we head into 2013. Which story are you going to live in?

Happy New Year friends.

P.S. Something I pray every day¬†on a regular basis that helps put all of this in perspective is The Daily Prayer that John Eldredge put together. There’s a free pdf and mp3 of it here. Thanks to @gpackiam and @johneldredge for inspiring this post.



14 thoughts on “The trouble with New Year’s resolutions

  1. arch1960 says:

    My desire is to play an important role in the “larger story”, the “epic” one (I LOVE that word!!!), God’s story!¬†
    Jon Dale, I say this from the heart bro, you are a very inspiring man and I’m very glad to know you. I believe, through your own unique gifts and ways, you are playing a VERY important role in bringing the gospel to so many people, the people that ONLY you will reach. Without a doubt, that is THE most important reason for living out the person God created each of us to be.¬†
    GREAT post brother! You are ON TOP of this 2013 thing, you go man!!!
    I KNOW you and your family are going to have an “EPIC ALLY¬†PROPORTIONED” New Year – but none the less, I’m praying and offering my best wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    Your pal, who is following you pretty closely, and learning from you. -Archie

  2. arch1960 says:

    I hope so to, Jon. That, ALSO, would be pretty epic! OR…if by chance you are doing any speaking engagements (probably to thousands and thousands of people, I believe!) here in TN, I’d be there!¬†

  3. You had me with the title, but the rest of the post grabbed me. It is indeed a story we have to choose to live–daily. I am (trying to finish) reading Eric Metaxas’ excellent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and find some of the same theme coming from Bonhoeffer’s life. A passion for Christ must be a daily pursuit.

    That’s my NY resolution.

    I think you are the last Dale I haven’t met…hurry down to Austin!

  4. Jon. Good words. I used to write down a list of focused accomplishments that I wanted to pursue each year. They were broken down into categories: Personal, Professional, Spiritual, Adventure, Family, Financial. And the truth is I got a lot of them checked off the list. The downfall that I realized is that it left very little leading for the Holy Spirit to do course corrections. I was too focused on knocking out the list. Now I don’t make any lists. It is actually repentance for me to not make a list and instead allow the Lord to lead.

  5. Great stuff John. “Who is the main character in the story you are living in?” I was reminded of that question a few months ago and it again has messed me up in a holy “hurts so good” kind of way. All too often then answer to that question is “me” which equals living in a much smaller story that the one our hearts and our strength was made for. 2013… I’m in for a larger story… to participate more in a story that is bigger than us that brings more goodness and beauty into this world… Thanks for stoking the fire. -Morg

  6. Lane Arnold says:

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m all in. Thanks for the great reminder. Hoping our story lines intersect more in 2014…Bob & I always enjoy time with you and Amy!

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