How do you eat an elephant?

elephantWe tend to believe we need to wait until all of our circumstances are properly aligned before we can act.  New Year is a prime example.  I’m going to wait until January 1st before I seriously resolve to change something in my life.  I think that most resolutions fail because of this pressure to impress.  There seems to be a lot of pressure to make a very significant resolution – like quitting smoking or losing 50 pounds, or stop using credit cards.  And, if we are only making those types of decisions once a year, how good can we be at it?  We are bound to fail.  Why not start off a little more humbly?  Like with smaller increments and smaller goals which become small achievements.  Why not, something like, this month I will smoke two less cigarettes a day?  Or, this month I will lose 2 pounds and keep it off?  There is plenty of evidence out there that supports the psychological benefit of these little victories, which ultimately lead to a greater goal.

In the context of our spiritual lives maybe it’s as simple as, ‘I will have a kind word for someone each day’.  Or, ‘I will say thank you to someone who is not expecting it.’  Or, ‘I will bite my tongue the next time I feel the need to tell someone what I really think.’ (A real problem of mine.)  Or, maybe say a blessing over a meal in a restaurant.  Or maybe just do something Christ-like each day until it becomes a habit.  No grand gestures, no extraordinary exclamations of my resolve, just small steps and turns to a year full of unremarkable acts of love and service to the people with whom I come in contact.  Even if I can do just one a week that’s 52 opportunities to reflect the love and service that Christ graced us with when he laid down His life for our salvation.  I think I may be able to manage that…I’ll let you know how I do from time to time on this blog.  Wishing you all a peaceful and hope filled New Year.

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