January is normally the month I try to stay away from the gym. There’s too many New Years’ Resolutions and too few weights to go around. By February most of the resolvers have cleared out and given me my home back.
Unfortunately for me, though, I’ve been scarce around the gym for several months so I don’t have a choice but to join the resolvers this go round. And after this holiday season I may actually have a few more pounds to lose than some of them.
What is it in us that we feel the need to make a resolution on January 1st? If you think about it, the day is quite arbitrary. Why not make a resolution to be a new you on July 17th? Or November 6th? There seems to be something almost magical about this day that’s like any other day we circle the sun. But what is it?
The new year seems to be a time to get a fresh start. We stop writing that old number on our checks and begin filling out the new year. It’s a time to dust ourselves off and start afresh. And that leads us to the reason we make resolutions. That leads us to why New Years is so magical.
Because we all fail a lot throughout the year. A lot.
Go ahead, set some goals. Set just a few or set a lot. You’ll fail at a good number of them. And I don’t just mean those of you who feel like failures all the time. I’m talking about the self-help gurus too. They fail a lot.
Human failure creates several multi-billion dollar industries in the US. From self-help to gym memberships to diet plans; we crave for people to tell us how not to fail. And then we keep doing it.
I for one feel like I’ve failed more this past year than any time in my life up to now. I’ve never struggled with failure like I have on a daily basis over the past 12 months. I feel like I could write the book on failure and one of these days I just might.
But all my failure has led me to a beautiful conclusion and I’m making it my New Year’s resolution.
This year I resolve to succeed at failure.
There’s few things in life that teach us as much about ourselves as failure does; that is, if we let it. This past year I’ve failed miserably at so many things and I’m not sure I gained as much from it as I could have. This next year, since a certain amount of failure is inevitable, I’m going to soak it all in and learn what God has to teach me.
Because in the end, on the day that I stand face to face with my creator and give an account for my days on this earth, I’m not going to have much of an excuse for all my failures. I’m a weak human being, and God knows that. He made me, after all. He’s the one who knows that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
No, when I stand before Him, I want to be able to confidently say that instead of putting lots of effort into improving the parts of me Jesus came to redeem that I chose to let Him kill the parts of me He wanted dead.
My failures aren’t a reflection of my inability to live up to the standard that God has placed on me, but a verification of the grace that He has given me to breath another day. And I will continue to give thanks to God for the many opportunities I’ll have to learn about my weak flesh this year.
Lord, make me a success at failure.