The Tipping Point of Resolve

What is the magic of January first?

People invest it with such power. The attraction of the clean slate. The leaving everything behind and starting fresh. My resolution is…I firmly resolve…this time I will get it right…starting tomorrow. Why wait? Why not start right now?

I’ve worked with people who have made all the usual resolutions. I’ve seen and experienced the most success with those who have reached a tipping point. They have come to the verge, gotten the edge, have looked over it and said with a resolute voice, “I’ve had enough; I’m jumping.”

But these jumpers are few. The sustained jumpers even fewer. And for some reason these bring to mind Abraham Lincoln’s prophetic words from Gettysburg. “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” He was speaking at a battlefield where thousands of young men lay. Lincoln’s resolution, “that this nation, under God, will have a new birth of freedom.”

I am overwhelmed by the thought, how sincerely Lincoln meant it and felt it, “these dead shall not have died in vain.” And yet they do. Yes, when people die, we take up their cause. We are resolved not to let this happen again. But “we the people” can only do so much. And we repeat ourselves.

What if I, on January 1st, renew my pledge to accept Lincoln’s challenge in a new light. To resolve to  live so that Christ did not die in vain for me. That He died to bring a new birth of freedom in me. Freedom from all that separates us. And to do that with each new dawn.

Because each day has its chasms, each moment its temptations. And my life really is just the collection of these moments lived among others who like me are resolved to get it right. Girding up our loins to do better, be better, try harder.

I here, highly resolve that Christ did not die in vain. He came so that I might have a new birth of freedom in an abundant life. Delivered from what tethers from the past, guided toward what is health and wholeness in the future.

May the weight of God’s hand, Christ’s very life, be the tipping point for each of us. Happy New Year.


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on December 31, 2012, in In Action, Life, Mind and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is posted with a nod to my daughter Stephanie who, upon asking me yesterday, “Mom, what did you do before the internet?” got me remembering that, yes, one day during middle school (?) I went for a walk and took along a volume of the encyclopedia so I could memorize the Gettysburg Address.

  2. We can sustain our resolutions if we seek Him first and are working on things He wants us to work on because He will empower us and encourage us. Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks for reading (and writing) Shelly. You make me think of how many times I have dismissed things with “better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” So often true among humans, but never true with God. Though He’s got both angles covered.

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