But is it that easy? We are not totally in charge of our own stories. None of us know what tomorrow holds. We have no idea of the challenges we will face, of what life will throw our way.
This is a time of making resolutions and goals for the coming year. Statistics show that the percentage of people who actually keep their New Year's resolutions all year long is a very small percentage - 8%. I've made them in the past, and I have broken them. Statistics also show that people over the age of 45 don't tend to make New Year's resolutions, and I joined that age group this past year; so I am less inclined to make them even if I normally would.
I look at this new year, this book of 366 blank pages with mixed emotions:
There is a level of fear and worry of the unknown.
There is the knowledge that there are changes I need to make.
There is hope for things to be better and for me to improve in the areas I need to improve in and change.
There is the realization that even with my best intentions, that there are a lot of things in this coming year that will not be in my control.
We can take up our pen and try to write what we want, but this isn't like writing a physical book. We don't know what is best to write. Events and people will interfere with what we want to write and affect the outcome of our story. Most likely, when we reach the last page of this 366 page book and put "the end" on that last page, the story will not be everything we wanted it to be. It may not be remotely close to what we want it to be.
That is why the best thing we can do is to give God this book of blank pages. Some people use what is called a "ghost writer". That is when someone writes a book for another person, and the person who didn't write the book gets his or her name on the cover. Having God as our "ghost writer" is the best thing we can do this year. It is our story, yet giving Him total control over our story is the wisest decision we can make for 2016. And unlike the normal ghost writer, we should give God all of the credit for how our story turns out.
There are things I want to do, things that I need to do; but if my plans and wishes are not surrendered to God; my story will be a failure. I don't tend to do very well when I take the pen in hand and attempt to write what I want. He always knows best.
So this year, I am making one resolution. Yes, I hope to lose some weight, to love more, laugh more often, do more for others, get a better and closer job, get my own place again, be an even better uncle and better person. Those are things I hope to do.
But I resolve to draw closer to God, to aim more to be the man He wants me to be, to live the life He wants me to live..... to let Him write my story and to give him the blank pages of my coming year... of my life....and let Him write what He knows is best. After all, our story is His story.
There is a hymn that says it best:
I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.
I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I will hasten, hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I am resolved to go to the Savior,
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One,
He hath the words of life.
I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living Way.
I am resolved to enter the kingdom
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.