Some years ago I came across the story of a man who, throughout his lifetime, each January wrote down a list of commitments for the coming year. He began the practice as a young adult. And he kept each annual commitment throughout his life.
At his death his family found his collection of annual commitments in a box in the attic. They had known about his practice and were eager to see what he had written each year for so long.
They discovered that the commitments he made were simple and related to the basic responsibilities of life. To their great surprise, however, his list changed very little throughout his life. In fact, every year included some of the same commitments: 20 pushups every day, reading this Bible every day, kindness to strangers, honesty in business, faithfulness to family. For an entire lifetime this man had committed every year to the same things.
At first his family was disappointed. They thought that making the same commitment each year was perhaps a little shallow, a little easy. But as they thought about him, they realized that he had lived each of those commitments, perhaps not perfectly, but consistently. They began to feel that the secret to his life had been his unwavering commitment to what was really important. His annual recommitment to the same foundations expressed and empowered his determination to do what he said he would do.
At New Year we may be thinking about how we will live the new year. Perhaps we are looking for something new, exciting, creative. That’s not bad at all. But there is great power in reviewing the most basic demands of life and faith, and recommitting to keeping them again in the new year.
What would you measure to be foundational to your faith and life? Would you include spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading and study, application of biblical truth to your life? Would you identify kindness and compassion to others? Would you write down serving your Lord by serving those in need?
Would you commit yourself again to do what you know is the center of God’s design for our lives? Its not a bad way to start the year.
~ Pastor Byron
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