My youngest son asked me yesterday what my 2017 resolution is.
I told him I have a lot of goals. But, I didn't tell him what they were or name my resolution.
Honestly, I had to give it some more thought.
I came to the conclusion that we get the word goal and resolution confused.
A goal is something we hope to achieve. We set down objectives. We spend hours at it. The result is a to-do list of mountainous proportion we might cross off by December 31, but we are likely to abandon before mid-February.
A resolution is something we determine to achieve. The objectives are set. The list is made. Our goal? Follow.
But, what about the mountain?
It's there. Yet, so is the path. Just stay on it.
Resolutions, unlike goals, mean a life-altering decision has occurred.
When Daniel resolved to refrain from eating the royal food, he made a conscious decision at the beginning of his captivity. He never wavered in that determination even when that food was offered to him. He challenged the authorities that demanded he eat it by saying he would be healthier if he continued on his diet of vegetables and water. While the other captives gorged on the rich morsels, he and his three friends continued what they had already set their minds on doing. The end result? They were proven healthier. And they got promotions.
Great job with a divine health plan, right? Maybe. Except that I don't think Daniel's friends expected an all-inclusive trip to the fiery furnace nor did Daniel plan that his corporate climb would include a decent into the lion's den. Otherwise Daniel might have added a goal of "lion-fighting" to that year's to-list, and his friends might have taken a course in fire-fighting.
So, how did they get through these setbacks?
Another resolution, of course.
They prayed the way they had been taught before they were taken into captivity. No matter what happened, they never stopped.
Prayer was part of their lifestyle. Even when their lives became threatened. Daniel and his friends, whether tempted with choice food or choosing life or death, resolved to stay on the determined path.
So, what is your resolution?
Don't confuse it with a list of goals you only hope to achieve over the course of one year.
Make it a decision to live starting now and in the years to come.
Maybe it's a word you used to know, but have somehow forgotten. Maybe you simply need to know how to get back on the path.
Choose a word that goes beyond what food to eat. Choose a word that depends on life and death.
Pray. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV)
Live. (James 4:13-15 NASB)
Love. (1 Corinthians 13)
Hope. (Romans 5:3-5)
Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)